Judge protects public from disqualified motorist

A Londonderry Magistrates Court Judge has refused to release a Waterside driver on bail telling him he could not do in the interests of “protecting the lives of other road users”.

Saturday, 10th May 2014, 7:00 am

A special sitting of the Magistrate’s Court on Saturday morning heard that William Keenan (20), of Bonds Hill, had admitted to police that he was disqualified from driving after his car was seen driving in an erratic manner in the Waterside on Friday afternoon.

Police recognised Keenan as a man who had been disqualified from driving on four different occasions in 2013, and who had not long been released from serving a sentence in relation to his driving history.

The court heard Keenan had 53 previous convictions, 14 of which were related to driving.

District Judge Meehan told the defendant he had “never seen the like of him before” and that the outcome of this case “was inevitable”.

“I am not impressed,” Judge Meehan said, continuing: “This is a very determined offender who has been detected for the fifth time in rapid succession.”

He said releasing the defendant would allow him “to pursue his dogged determination to continue driving, no matter the cost.”

A defence solicitor said Keenan’s partner was expecting the couple’s first baby in the coming weeks and his client was the sole carer for his father, who is recovering from a stroke.

However, Judge Meehan said Keenan should have put the needs of those who depended on him above his need to drive.

Keenan will appear before Londonderry Magistrates court again on Thursday of next week.