Man said he thought he was covered to drive vehicle under former owner’s policy

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Applegreen near Ballymena.

A man caught twice using a vehicle without insurance claimed he wasn’t aware of the procedures in Northern Ireland and thought he was covered under the old owner’s policy.

However, a court heard Vasile Bratianu (21), of Smithfield Place, Ballymena, said he is now aware of the arrangements.

The defendant came to police attention after twice going to Applegreen on the Crankill Road near Ballymena in March this year and filling up with a total of £83.96 worth of petrol and making off without paying.

He had no driving licence and no MOT on both occasions.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the offences when he appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday August 16.

The court heard he was identified by CCTV and the vehicle was traced by police.

During a police interview the defendant made full admissions and he said he did not pay as he was not working at the time and had no money.

He gave his explanation for not being insured to officers.

The court heard the defendant had now paid for the fuel.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said at the time of the offences Bratianu had other matters on mind with a child in hospital.

Mr Ballentine said his client is now working.

The defendant was banned from driving for nine months and fined a total of £600.

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