Judge expresses concern about motorists using mobiles as estate agent admits checking phone diary whilst on way to meet client

Ballymena Court

A judge has warned of the dangers of using hand-held mobiles whilst driving after an estate agent was caught using his phone to check his diary whilst on the way to meet a client.

District Judge Nigel Broderick, speaking at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday, said he took a “dim view” of motorists using mobiles.

He added: “A momentary lapse in concentration can, in certain circumstances, have very major consequences”.

He said checking a diary on a phone would be “cold comfort” to anyone the estate agent had hit due to a lack of attention.

David Doherty (38), of Liberty Road, Carrickfergus, pleaded guilty to using a mobile phone whilst driving and using a vehicle without insurance.

The defendant was caught using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving at Victoria Road, Carrickfergus, on April 24 this year.

He was offered a fixed penalty ticket for the phone offence but it then emerged he had not been insured for the Volkswagen Passat he was driving.

A defence lawyer said the defendant had a previously clear record and his driving licence was very important for his job.

The lawyer said the defendant accepted he was using the mobile whilst en route to meet a client and he was checking the diary on the phone.

The lawyer said the defendant thought he was insured and when he discovered he wasn’t the matter was immediately rectified and he wished to apologise.

The defendant was given nine penalty points and fined £350.

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