Man who mowed down duo at Central Station traffic lights avoids jail
A 51-year-old father-of-four who struck two pedestrians as they crossed a road at a set of traffic lights outside a train station has been handed a suspended sentence.
David Stitt, from Friendly Street in Belfast, was given a 12-month prison sentence, which was suspended for two years.
He was also banned from driving for a year after he admitted to two counts of causing grievous bodily injury to the two men by careless driving.
Both men, who had arrived in Belfast on the Portadown train, sustained major injuries in the collision on East Bridge Street on February 15, 2013.
Stitt lost his job as a driver for NI Railways.
The injured men had crossed the road at lights outside Central Station when they were struck by Stitt.
Both men were rushed to hospital, where they were treated for extensive injuries which required follow-up physiotheraphy.
One of the injured men spent 10 days in intensive care and was treated for multiple injuries including a fractured skull and a broken leg. His friend suffered fractures to his pelvis, neck, left lower leg and right knee, and now suffers from depression.
Defence barrister Sean O'Hare told the court the collision occurred as his client was making his way to get fish and chips for his family.
He stated that the injured men were not to blame for what happened.
He added that Stitt "ought to have made sure all pedestrians had crossed" the road.
Mr O'Hare said his client accepted that as he approached the traffic lights he drove on "without properly checking to make sure they were clear."
Judge Donna McColgan told Stitt that he didn't see the men due to "momentary inattention on your part".