A FORMER Ballymena United footballer, who police spotted holding a mobile phone in his hand whilst driving, said he was only checking the time.
Neil Lowry (25), of Holly Mews in Ballymena, had the offence detected on Friday April 13 this year at Linenhall Street in the town.
The defendant appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on November 1 which heard he was already on nine penalty points.
Defence solicitor David McIlrath said his client was stationary at traffic lights and was not phoning or texting but was checking the time on the phone.
Mr McIlrath said he realised the offence brought the defendant to twelve points which would trigger a ban and urged the judge to limit the length of the driving disqualification as the defendant worked as a labourer in Larne and also needed the car in connection with his young children.
The defendant was banned from driving for a month and fined £300.