Man had only passed driving test a week when he was caught using a mobile phone at the wheel

Ballymena Court5
Ballymena Court.

A Larne man who had only passed his driving test one week when he was detected using a mobile phone at the wheel has appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court.

Richard Steele (22), of Recreation Road, committed the offence in November, 2014, when, while working in the car trade, he was on the phone to say the vehicle had failed an MOT.

At the time he told police he thought he was insured to drive by a trade policy.

In another incident, detected in April this year, the defendant was driving whilst disqualified and was uninsured.

Defence solicitor Garret McCann said his client had been arrested on a warrant in connection with the 2014 offences and had spent a night in the cells.

The lawyer said the defendant had been “burying his head in the sand”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick warned the defendant he couldn’t drive without insurance and said he had a very poor record for such offences.

The defendant was sentenced on charges of driving while disqualified; being uninsured; using a mobile phone whilst driving and failing to produce a driving licence.

He was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work; was banned from driving for a year and was fined £185.

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