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Hit-and-run driver who crashed on M2 while high on cocaine disqualified for 15 months


Belfast Magistrates’ Court

Belfast Magistrates’ Court

PA Archive/PA Images

Belfast Magistrates’ Court

A hit-and-run driver who crashed into another car on a motorway while on cocaine has been disqualified for 15 months.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard Christopher Goodman was discovered dazed and disorientated after his Mini came to a halt further down the M2.

The 36-year-old, of Cairngorm Crescent in Newtownabbey, pleaded guilty to driving when unfit through drink or drugs, and failing to stop, report or remain at the scene of an accident.

He also admitted two counts of having defective tyres.

The crash happened on the southbound carriageway, close to the Bellevue Bridge, in the early hours of July 2 last year.

Goodman's car had struck the rear of another vehicle, causing extensive damage, before heading on towards Belfast, the court heard.

Prosecutor Stephanie Boyd said police located the Mini in an "immobilised" state at the Greencastle junction of the M2.

Goodman was unsteady on his feet and unresponsive to simple questions, while checks on his car revealed tyres devoid of tread.

"Blood samples were examined and he had substantial amounts of cocaine in his system," Mrs Boyd said.

He admitted driving the Mini when it came up behind and struck the other vehicle.

"That car had tried to move out of its way because it was so close, but when it moved lane the Mini moved too and impacted on the rear," Mrs Boyd added.

Defence barrister Declan Quinn emphasised Goodman's remorse at the collision.

"It occurred in the early hours of the morning, him having consumed cocaine much earlier with friends," counsel said.

"There was an element of panic when he initially didn't stop."

Mr Quinn argued that his client pulled over at the next junction and flagged down police.

"His car was in bad shape.... it isn't one of those situations which required significant police investigation.

"We are talking hundreds of metres down the road."

The barrister added: "It was a momentary lapse where he ran into the back of somebody having clearly misjudged the space in front of them.

"But of course the impact of cocaine was a contributing factor."

Along with the 15 months driving ban, District Judge Fiona Bagnall imposed 12 months probation.

She also fined Goodman £200 for the defective tyres.

Belfast Telegraph