Driving ban for teen who hit 110mph in bid to escape police
A teenage driver who sped off from police at 110mph because he thought they saw him putting red diesel in his car has been banned from the roads for two years and ordered to complete 140 hours of community service.
Niall McAllister bolted from the PSNI in a Volkswagen Bora along the Moorfields Road near Ballymena.
The 19-year-old, from Glen Road, Glenariffe, in Co Antrim, reached speeds of up to 110mph and at one stage drove at 80mph through Moorfields village, where the speed limit is 40mph.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday that police considered the chase too dangerous and abandoned it, but later spoke to the defendant.
When his car, which had the suspension lowered to within three centimetres of the ground, was being checked by an expert, a spring fell out.
McAllister admitted charges relating to the incident in December last year. He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, using a vehicle in a dangerous condition, and having a defective exhaust/silencer system as well as a faulty brake light.
A prosecutor said that at around 9pm on December 5 last year, police on mobile patrol in the Larne Road Link area of Ballymena spotted a Volkswagen Bora travelling at high speed.
They activated their blue lights and sirens, but the car failed to stop.
During a pursuit along the Moorfields Road towards Larne, the defendant's vehicle travelled at speeds of 110mph through a 60mph zone.
Police noted the car appeared to be unstable on the road and decided the risk was too high.
The pursuit was terminated, but when they later spoke to McAllister, he confirmed he had been behind the wheel. He told police: "I didn't stop because I'd just put red diesel in the car."
The prosecutor said the vehicle's suspension was in a dangerous state.
A defence lawyer said McAllister thought police had watched him getting red diesel, after which a panic hit him and he "drove stupidly".
When the defendant got home and told his father what had happened, police were contacted and admissions were made.
The lawyer said McAllister bought the car for £1,000 and spent an extra £3,000 on it, but it has now been sent to a scrapyard.
District Judge Peter King said it was an "appalling piece of driving" and the defendant could have killed someone.
He said the standard of driving was so unacceptable he had been considering a suspended sentence but instead imposed 140 hours of community service, a two-year driving ban and fines totalling £400.
He also ordered McAllister to re-sit his driving test before going back on the road and warned him that if he gets behind the wheel before then, his liberty would be at risk.