Belfast Telegraph

Speeding Sunday school bus driver banned

Banned: Gareth McIntyre
Banned: Gareth McIntyre

By Paul Higgins

A Sunday school bus driver who was caught at more than twice the speed limit because he was late for church was given a month-long driving ban yesterday - on his birthday.

Antrim Magistrates Court heard that self-employed plasterer Gareth James McIntyre, who celebrated his 33rd birthday yesterday, was driving his Range Rover at 70mph in a 30mph zone at 10.15am on October 7, last year.

A prosecutor told the court that because of the speed, McIntyre, from the Portglenone Road in Randalstown, couldn't be given a fixed penalty notice.

McIntyre's defence solicitor said the married father-of-three is the bus driver for a local Sunday school and on the day he was caught "he was going to be late".

The solicitor conceded that while McIntyre already has six points on his licence, any driving ban would have serious consequences as his licence "is vital".

"If he cannot drive, he cannot work and if he cannot work, he cannot pay his mortgage," submitted the lawyer.

As well as the month-long ban for the excess speed, District Judge Nigel Broderick also fined McIntyre £300, telling the court that while he "recognised the consequences both in him and others", doing 70mph in an area where the speed limit is 30mph was "basically motorway speeds - so there must be a deterrent".

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