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Judge refuses to give killer driver Damon Mosgrove his licence back early

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Crash: Damon Mosgrove

Crash: Damon Mosgrove

Crash: Damon Mosgrove

A boy racer who caused the death of a police officer's wife when he was racing another driver yesterday failed in his bid to have his driving ban reduced.

Lodging an application to restore a driving licence for Damon Mosgrove, defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram said the 26-year-old "entirely accepts that he was responsible" for the death of Moira Rankin and continues to be remorseful for that "to this day".

He added, however, that since being freed from prison in May 2016, having recently bought a house and hoping to take over the running of his father's tyre business, "the person he was then and the person he is now are completely different".

"While he still lives with the appreciation of all this, he wants to put it behind him and is trying to get on with his life in a significant way and contribute to society," said the lawyer.

In February 2013 Mosgrove, from the Millisle Road in Donaghadee, was handed a six-and-a-half-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to causing the death of 59-year-old Mrs Rankin by dangerous driving.

Mosgrove, who was 18 at the time, and another young driver were racing each other along the dual carriageway between Ards and Bangor in December 2011 when the other driver ploughed into Mrs Rankin, who was out walking her dog.

In court yesterday counsel for the Chief Constable said he was objecting to the application on the grounds that while legislation allowed a banned driver to apply for their licence to be restored once half of the disqualification had been served, Mosgrove had not served that time yet.

He submitted the court should consider that the ban only began once Mosgrove, who was in custody for three years and three months, was freed from custody.

Refusing the application to restore the licence, Judge Miller told Mr Ingram "I'm afraid that's the view I take".

The judge also told the lawyer that while "I commend your client for the maturity which he is now showing, I would not consider this application until May 2021", by which time Mosgrove will have been off the roads for five years.

Judge Miller added however that if Mosgrove's "circumstances have not altered and remain as positive as they are now... the court would be minded to grant the application at that stage, but not before".

Belfast Telegraph