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Omagh man who knocked down man while driving carelessly avoids jail 

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The judge handed the 50-year-old a five-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months

The judge handed the 50-year-old a five-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months

The judge handed the 50-year-old a five-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months

A father of two who knocked down a man in a car park fracturing his hip was spared prison today .

Richard Crawford had pleaded guilty at Dungannon Crown Court to a single charge of causing grievous bodily injury by careless driving.

At court on Thursday, Judge Brian Sherrard handed the former IT consultant expert a five-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months given his previous clear record along with his mental and physical health problems.

It was the prosecution case that on September 27, 2018, Crawford (50), of Dergmoney Heights, Omagh, was driving his car into the forecourt of McGirr's Spar, Kevlin Road in Omagh when he struck his victim to the left hip, causing him to fall to the ground in "extreme pain''.

The injured pedestrian was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, where X-rays revealed he had sustained a fractured hip. He had to have a metal pin inserted into his hip and has been left with a 14-inch scar.

Defence barrister Steven Molloy said that at the time of the accident, Crawford's "eyesight was probably not the best'' and since the accident, his eyesight has "now got progressively worse, he is borderline registered blind and now uses a white stick on the street''.

He told the court that the defendant believes his type one diabetes also played a role in the accident.

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"He simply didn't see his victim. He fully accepts 100% that this was his fault and is very remorseful over the serious injuries he caused his victim. He is a very chastened man who never previously had darkened the door of any court and has no previous convictions,'' added Mr Molloy.

Before passing sentence, Judge Sherrard watched a brief 20 second video of the careless driving incident. He said there was no satisfactory explanation as to why the accident happened except for "carelessness and nothing more''.

Judge Sherrard told Crawford: "This is an immense fall from grace for you and a courtroom is not the place you normally find yourself in.

"These are troubling cases because injury has been caused by an accident rather than a deliberate criminal act.''

He added that there are "few drivers amongst us who have heaved a huge sigh of relief when we have lost concentration and narrowly avoided a collision''.

As well as imposing a suspended prison sentence, Judge Sherrard disqualified Crawford from driving for a year and said that as a "precaution and in the interests of our community',' the defendant should be retested if he wishes to drive again.


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