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Hit-and-run driver who injured mum and child on Benone beach gets licence back

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A man who was jailed and banned from driving after a hit-and-run on a beach in which a mother and child were injured has had his driving licence restored

A man who was jailed and banned from driving after a hit-and-run on a beach in which a mother and child were injured has had his driving licence restored

A man who was jailed and banned from driving after a hit-and-run on a beach in which a mother and child were injured has had his driving licence restored

A man who was jailed and banned from driving after a hit-and-run on a beach in which a mother and child were injured has had his driving licence restored.

Paul John Doherty was jailed for three-and-a-half years and disqualified from driving for seven years following the incident on Benone Beach in July 2013.

It resulted in a mother and her four-year-old daughter sustaining fractures and bruising.

Yesterday Doherty, a 35-year-old plasterer from Ballynahone in Fahan, Co Donegal, had an application for his driving licence to be restored granted at Londonderry Crown Court.

Doherty was convicted of a series of driving offences linked to the incident, among them dangerous driving, failing to remain at the scene and failing to report an accident.

After he had struck the mother and child with his BMW, Doherty drove off the beach at speed.

Police were alerted and his car was later spotted by the PSNI helicopter.

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It had been partially concealed behind a newly built house at Barnault Road on the outskirts of Limavady, several miles away from Benone Beach.

Applying for Doherty's driving licence to be restored yesterday, solicitor Paddy McGurk told Judge Philip Babington that he had recently received an offer of a job from his former employer to work as a plasterer at various sites around Northern Ireland.

The solicitor said Doherty would need his driving licence restored in order to accept the job offer.

Mr McGurk said Doherty has been off the road for almost five years.

He said Doherty was released from jail two-and-a-half years ago and had not come to the attention of the police on either side of the border since then.

A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service said she was adopting a neutral stance in relation to the application.

Judge Babington said he remembered the incident as a very serious one, adding that he was the judge who had originally sentenced Doherty.

"You have served your punishment," he told Doherty.

"The application is granted and the suspension on the driving licence is now removed."


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