A consultant urologist and cancer surgeon who admitted causing the death of a pensioner by careless driving was fined £500 on Monday.
Dr. Mark Haynes (45) was also handed a 12 month driving ban by District Judge Rosie Watters who said the events which led to the death of Colin Bryan Holliday was a “tragic case, I think, for everyone involved.”
She told Lisburn Magistrates Court, where both Dr. Haynes and Mr Holliday’s relatives attended personally, it was clear from the reports “what a loved grandfather and father the victim was.”
Dr. Haynes, said the judge, “didn’t set out that day to cause any harm to anyone” but that a “piece of momentary inattention has led to terribly tragic circumstances for everybody.”
“In fact everyday of his life, no doubt, he tries his best to do his best for people who are suffering and to save lives,” said DJ Watters.
At an earlier hearing Dr. Haynes, a consultant urologist and surgeon from Lisduff Grange in Dungannon, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Holliday by driving carelessly on the Hillhall Road on 28 September 2018.
Opening the facts of the case, a prosecuting lawyer told the court how police and the emergency services were called to the scene of the four-car collision by a resident who lived nearby.
Mr Holliday, said the lawyer, was “conscious and breathing” but trapped in his Volkswagen Tiguan which had ended up on its roof and he had to be cut free by the Fire Service.
The pensioner was taken to RVH where he undergone surgery for his injuries but tragically, “his condition deteriorated” and a scan revealed a brain haemorrhage.
Mr Holliday tragically died on 13 October, six days after his 83rd birthday.
The PPS lawyer outlined how the scene was examined by a forensic engineer who attributed the fatal accident to an impact which occurred when the Fiat Tipo being driven by Dr. Haynes who was on his way to Craigavon Area Hospital, crossed the central line by 30 centimetres on a left hand bend.
Defence counsel Andrew Moriarity said Dr. Haynes, who also coaches children’s athletics, “is a very giving, decent human being,” adding that the accident and its tragic consequences “is something that haunts him quite frankly.”
He said that Dr. Haynes had pleaded guilty on the basis of the forensic findings, conceding that having read through the evidence, reports and findings, “the phrase that came to my own mind was there but for the grace of God.”
Sentencing Dr. Haynes, DJ Watters told the court that had the case involved more than a momentary lapse of attention, “he would have been facing a different charge in a different venue” but that as it stood “culpability isn’t huge in this case.”
She said that had the consultants car crossed the central line “a few second before or a few seconds afterwards, we would not be here so there’s a lot of bad luck involved as well.”
Imposing the fine, year long driving ban and a £15 offender levy, the judge said conceded the sentence “doesn’t sort anything for anybody but at the end of the day we have to recognise that this was a piece of momentary inattention.”