Belfast Telegraph

Carnlough man handed 18 month driving ban after collision with a motorcyclist resulted in the biker losing a leg

By Ashleigh McDonald

A Carnlough man whose car collided with a motorcyclist on the Antrim Coast Road which resulted in the biker losing a leg was banned from driving for 18 months on Friday.

Brian Kelly, from Atlantic Avenue, was also handed a nine-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, after he admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily injury to the motorcyclist by dangerous driving.

Antrim Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, heard that after overtaking a vehicle "where he should not have done so", Kelly (52) collided with two motorcyclists travelling in the opposite direction.

Whilst one of the riders sustained minor injuries, the other biker's injuries were so serious that he had to be airlifted from the scene and taken to hospital in a helicopter.

He sustained what Judge Gordon Kerr QC described as "catastrophic injuries" which included a fractured pelvis and the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

The collision occurred on the Antrim Coast Road on the outskirts of Carnlough on March 21, 2015.

Judge Kerr said the motorcyclist's driving on the day in question was "entirely blameless" and said the collision occurred as Kelly overtook another vehicle.

The Judge said that as a result of the collision the injured rider - who was 30 at the time - has been deprived of the life he had before the incident.

This, Judge Kerr said, included the impact it has had on his family life, his career and his social life.

Saying these aspects had been "torn down", Judge Kerr said his quality of life had been restricted, and that he continues to receive medical treatment.

Prior to sentence being passed, the court heard that the injured motorcyclist believed Kelly had displayed little or no remorse for his actions.

However, this suggestion was rejected by Kelly's barrister Neil Connor QC, who said that his client has "shown a great deal of insight, remorse, sorrow and regret for what happened."

Mr Connor said that following the collision, it would have been "inappropriate" for Kelly to contact the motorcyclist, adding that the remorse Kelly has expressed for causing the injuries was genuine.

The barrister also revealed that as Kelly has a daughter with serious medical issues, he has helped raised thousands of pounds for relevant local charities, and was an active member of Carnlough Community Association.

Judge Kerr said Kelly's plea indicated he accepted his driving was dangerous, and fell below the standard expected of a competent driver, adding he overtook "where he should not have done."

The Judge also said that whilst aggravating issues such as speeding were not an issue, Kelly had a "momentary failure of judgement."

Sparing Kelly jail, Judge Kerr said he was taking into account the 24-hour care that Kelly's daughter requires.

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