Brake line clamped with vice-grip

Court
Court

A Donemana man has been fined £625 after his “runaround” car was found to have been in a dangerous condition in the city last summer.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard how police spoke to Billy Joe Thompson (20), of Glencosh Road, whose vehicle was pulled in at Queen’s Quay at approximately 12.15 a.m. on the morning of August 31, 2016. A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor said the occupants of a second vehicle were providing assistance to Thompson. Upon inspecting the car police found both front tyres almost entirely devoid of thread in all places, the PPS solicitor said. When they also discovered the brake fluid line attached only by vice-grips and cable ties, the officers seized the vehicle. A defence solicitor said Thompson was unaware of the extent of the defects and had only bought the car as ‘a runaround’. He said he had left the car into a garage for maintenance and upon retrieving it the vice-grips had been attached.

District Judge Barney McElholm fined Thompson £500 for using the vehicle in a dangerous condition. He also fined him £125 and endorsed three penalty points for the defective tyres but complained he was unable to endorse any points for the dangerous car.

“The legislation defeats me at times. You get six penalty points for no insurance; you get no penalty points for a defective vehicle. It makes me wonder, sometimes, whether the legislators are legislating for the community or if they are legislating for the insurance companies.”