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Man lands himself with penalty points after taking legal advice from friend

Court heard he was told it was not an offence to use his mobile whilst driving in a filling station forecourt as it was not a public road

Mobile phone driving

A Craigavon man has paid the price after taking his legal advice from a friend as he is handed three penalty points.

The 33-year-old was also ordered pay a £175 fine after he was told that it was not an offence to use his mobile whilst driving in a filling station forecourt as it was not a public road.

Dara Anthony Creaney, of Carnreagh, pleaded guilty to failing to produce his driving licence and using a mobile phone whilst driving at the Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

It was heard that on October 7, at around 10.15am, police walking across the forecourt of a petrol station on the Portadown Road, Lurgan, observed the defendant driving a Renault van whilst using his mobile.

The officers stopped Creaney on the Tullygally East Road and noted that the mobile was still on his lap.

He accepted the fixed penalty for the offence but could not produce his licence.

The defendant was given seven days to do this but failed to do so.

Defence solicitor Peter Murphy stated: “He accepts he had been driving in the forecourt while using his mobile, he initially accepted the fixed penalty but after speaking to a friend was told this was not an offence as it was private property.

“However, after consulting with me I explained that it was in fact a public road.”

He added: “Mr Creaney did attempt to bring his licence to Lurgan Police Station on several occasions but as I know it closes at 6pm and he was unable to produce his licence.”

Creaney was handed three penalty points and ordered to pay a fine of £175, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within eight weeks.

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