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Man caught speeding at 120mph on motorway had two women and a child in his car

Defendant - who did not appear in court - has since returned to his native Romania and 'has no plans on returning'

A man who overtook police at 120mph on the motorway has been handed a 12-month ban.

Court heard the 31-year-old, who has returned to his native Romania, had two female passengers and an infant in his car when he was stopped by police.

Marius Ioniti Tapus, formerly of Blackwatertown, did not appear as pleas of guilty were entered to excess speed and dangerous driving at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Court heard that on July 29, at around 10am, police, who were travelling at the speed limit, on the M1 Belfast bound, were overtaken by the defendant in a Volkswagen Passat.

The officers accelerated following the defendant and had to keep at a speed of 120mph to maintain a steady distance.

After one mile the police pulled over Tapus.

It was noted that along with the driver the vehicle had two female occupants and an infant.

Defence barrister David McKeown stated: “This is a Romanian national who lived in Northern Ireland for five years, he has returned home and has no plans on returning.

“This was an unacceptable speed regardless of who was in the car but it is particularly serious due to the occupants.”

He added: “Mr Tapus lodged his licence with his solicitor before he returned to Romania and was aware that he was going to lose it.”

Deputy District Judge Liam McStay stated: “This was a gross speed and this was aggravated by the occupants of the car.”

The defendant was handed a 12-month disqualification and ordered to pay a fine of £325, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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