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Down driver Murray banned after '90mph race'

By Paul Higgins

Published 16/11/2016

Court: Hugh Murray
Court: Hugh Murray

A motorist who admitted speeding on country roads has been banned from driving for a year.

As well as fining 30-year-old Hugh Francis Murray £300, with a £15 offender levy, District Judge Mark Hamill told him he "thoroughly deserved every minute" of his 12-month ban.

The judge added at Newtownards Magistrates' Court that before the defendant was allowed to get behind the wheel of a car again, he would have to re-sit his driving test.

Murray, from the Parsonage Road in Kircubbin, earlier pleaded guilty to a single charge of dangerous driving on the South Circular Road in Bangor on September 17 this year.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court that a police patrol had spotted a Nissan and a Vauxhall Corsa racing each other on the South Circular Road.

The lawyer added that as the cars sped out towards Donaghadee, the police had to accelerate to speeds of up to 90mph just to catch up.

While they managed to stop Murray while he was still behind the wheel of his Nissan, the Corsa driver managed to flee the scene of the incident and has yet to be identified.

Defence barrister Conor Holmes said that while Murray accepted his driving was dangerous, he was "adamant" that he had not been racing.

He added that his client said he did not know the other driver, and while he would argue that he did not reach 90mph, "he doesn't dispute" what the PSNI officers said.

Imposing the driving ban, Judge Hamill told Murray that if he had not pleaded guilty, he would have faced an 18-month disqualification.

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