A MAN with an “atrocious” driving record tried to outrun police and sped past children in the area of a playpark in the Ballykeel Two estate in Ballymena, the town’s Magistrates Court was told.
At 4.20pm on April 2 last year police were on patrol at Orkney Drive in Ballymena and saw the defendant drive a vehicle onto the footpath near his home and as he took off his seat belt he spotted police and drove off along the footpath down Orkney Drive.
The defendant increased speed and police turned and indicated for him to stop by using lights and sirens but, a prosecutor said, Rainey “bullied” his way through a traffic calming junction increasing speed and going through the estate at “high speed” overtaking two vehicles and at one stage swerving into the oncoming lane of traffic.
The defendant was driving at speeds of between 50-60mph and police felt he had “no control” and viewed his driving as “erratic and dangerous”.
The prosecutor said there were several children in a play park and on footpaths at the time.
Rainey was subsequently stopped by other officers.
Defence barrister Michael Smyth said the defendant had previously been convicted in his absence at court.
The lawyer said when Rainey’s record is viewed it isn’t hard to understand why the defendant drove away from police.
“He simply panicked when he saw the police and tried to evade detection,” Mr Smyth said.
The defendant was also detected regarding an insurance related matter in a Citroen Berlingo van being used at Larne Road Link in Ballymena at 1.40am on October 31 last year.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said Rainey had an “atrocious driving record” and said the only thing saving him from prison was the recent sad passing of a family member and the fact the offences occurred last year.
The defendant was given a five months prison term, suspended for three years, along with a three year driving ban as well as a £100 fine.