A WOMAN who works in a care home in Antrim gave a colleague a lift but on her way to her own property she was caught doing twice her permitted speed.
A defence lawyer said the defendant allowed her speed to increase as the roads were less busy than usual due to the Covid pandemic.
Zoe McCullough (18), of Moneynick Road, Randalstown, was at the time of the offence – June 10 this year – a restricted driver allowed to do a maximum of 45mph.
A guilty plea was entered to exceeding that restriction.
She was detected doing 89mph at Lisnevenagh Road dual-carriageway near Ballymena.
Police saw a Seat Leon car going towards Antrim at 8.30pm which had R plates and the speed was 44mph in excess of the speed restriction for the vehicle.
The defendant told police: “I’m so sorry”.
The defence lawyer said that “during these periods of time” the roads weren’t as busy and after a long day’s work the defendant was on a clear stretch of road and had decided to “make haste” to get home.
He said the offence happened close to the end of the defendant’s restricted period being lifted.
The lawyer said she would have been 19mph over the limit if her restricted period had ended and if the offence had happened three weeks later she may have got a fixed penalty or three penalty points and a £60 fine “and sent on her way”.
The lawyer said the defendant works full time in the care home and if she lost her licence she would need to rely on family members for lifts which would cause a lot of difficulty particularly with shift times.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said taking into account the clear record; early guilty plea; the offence happening within 16 days of completing her period of restriction and the fact she is a “key worker” he was not banning her from driving.
The defendant was given four penalty points and a £150 fine.