Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland groom handed driving ban after 'donuts' at wedding

By Nevin Farrell

A groom who did a celebratory "donut" on a public road on the day of his wedding while his veil-wearing bride was a passenger in the spinning vehicle has been convicted of dangerous driving.

Two other men also took part in the bizarre stunt involving a Toyota Corolla GT Twincam and a Ford Sierra on a country road in Co Antrim.

The three men were banned from driving for a year and will all have to re-sit their tests.

A video of the incident, which was on a mobile phone seized during a police enquiry into another case, was shown at yesterday's sitting of Coleraine Magistrates Court.

The images showed a number of cars "diffing" as a large crowd of onlookers watched on.

Groom Jonathan Othniel Davidson (34), of Lisnagat Road, Mosside; Martin Jamison (22), of Turnarobert Park, Armoy, and John Edward Mackey Lamont (35), of Turraloskin Park, Moyarget, near Ballycastle - all Co Antrim - had contested charges of dangerous driving arising out of the incident at Ballinlea Road on February 21, 2015.

In relation to the 'donuts', Davidson and Lamont had entered guilty pleas to a lesser charge of driving without due care and attention but were convicted of dangerous driving and were each also fined £200.

Jamison had contended that although his Sierra was spotted on the footage he was not the driver, but District Judge Liam McNally convicted him, noting it was his car and he was the only one insured to drive it and he did not give an explanation to police or the court. He was fined £300.

The video showed other vehicles but the drivers could not be identified.

All three defendants refused to give evidence on their own behalf in court. Convicting all three men of dangerous driving, Judge McNally said: "This was a sustained taking over of a public road.

"It is a sustained piece of bad driving."

A lawyer for Davidson said his client accepted he was driving a car and "his new wife was in the car with him".

He said a driving ban would have a "catastrophic effect" on his business and after being married two years ago, the conviction against the father of three young children "falls hard on him".

A lawyer for lorry driver Lamont said his employment was dependent on having a licence but he accepted he had "only himself to blame".

Jamison's lawyer said the loss of his licence would be the "death knell" for his employment.

Judge McNally said: "If people want to drive in this way on the road and have their driving videoed - it was all set up for show, it was done on a public road - I have no alternative but to convict them of dangerous driving."

The judge fixed bail of £300 for each man and granted permission for them to drive pending an appeal.

Belfast Telegraph

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