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MoT official who knocked down teen spared jail

By John Cassidy

An MoT inspector who knocked down and seriously injured a teenage schoolgirl two years ago has been spared prison.

Andrew Robert Parkinson was told by a judge at Belfast Crown Court that sending him to prison would not be "proportionate or necessary for a momentary lapse of inattention'' and ordered him to serve 240 hours community service.

Parkinson (41) of Leven Close, east Belfast, pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing the teenager grievous bodily injury by careless driving.

Prosecuting barrister Peter Magill told the court that on February 24, 2015, the 17-year-old was on her way to school when the collision happened.

"As she reached the traffic lights outside KFC on the Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, the lights were out of commission,'' explained Mr Magill.

Roadworks were being carried out, and a school patrol officer walked into the middle of the road to stop traffic.

However, the defendant approached in his BMW and struck the teenager. She was thrown into the air and landed head first on to the vehicle, suffering head and ankle injuries.

The girl was rushed to hospital and put on the critical list.

Judge Miller QC said that the collision was the result of an "act of momentary inattention''. As well as community service, Parkinson was disqualified from driving for 12 months and will have to resit his test.

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