Man jailed for assaulting examiner during driving test

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who assaulted an examiner during his driving test has been jailed for six months.

Jason Booth, whose address was given on court papers as Lisnablagh Road, Coleraine, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm on August 28, last year.

The 28-year-old also admitted driving a Sandy Arthur vehicle without insurance on the same date.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard Booth was taking his driving test in a Sandy Arthur training vehicle at the Newbuildings test centre.

During the course of the test he became aggressive and verbally abused the examiner.

The test was terminated as a result and Booth assaulted the examiner.

The court heard the 28-year-old punched him twice in the face causing a laceration to his left eye and swelling.

Booth then drove back to the test centre, leaving the examiner behind. As a result of driving unaccompanied he was uninsured.

The injured party had to have two stitches to the laceration he sustained and experienced some discomfort.

During police interview, Booth said he did not realise he was uninsured when driving alone.

He admitted assaulting the examiner but claimed he was acting in self-defence.

The court heard the 28-year-old claimed the injured party had grabbed him by the throat.

A defence solicitor said Booth thought the test was going well and when he was told the test was being terminated he ‘over-reacted’.

He said the defendant was not permitted to resit the test here and had to go to the expense of taking it in Scotland.

The solicitor also told the court Booth us due to start a full time job and is willing to pay compensation.

Jailing Booth, District Judge Barney McElholm said this is an ‘extremely serious matter’.

He said the defendant ‘still maintains that the examiner grabbed him by the throat. There is no real remorse at all when he is continually trying to blame the victim’.

The judge also fined the 28-year-old £400 and imposed six penalty points for having no insurance.