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Learner driver clocked on motorway allowed to keep licence after passing test post-Christmas

But he was ordered to pay fine of £800 for a number of offences

A man who passed his test after being caught on the motorway as a learner driver has been spared his licence.

The Dungannon man’s legal representative told court his client had failed the theory test three previous times but having passed it shortly before Christmas had gone on to earn his full licence.

Shane Hagan, of Shanmaghry Road, pleaded guilty to being an L driver on motorway, not displaying L plates, being an unaccompanied L driver, using a vehicle without insurance and taking a vehicle without authority at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on November 5, at 6.40pm, police stopped the defendant driving a Citroen Berlingo on the M1 near Portadown.

Hagan produced a provisional licence. It was noted by officers that he was unaccompanied and there were no L plates on the vehicle.

Police spoke to the owner of the vehicle who said tthe defendant did not have permission to use the car.

Hagan was subsequently cautioned for the offences before the court.

Defence counsel stated: “Mr Hagan would normally get a lift to work but on that occasion they did not come and he took his partner’s car.

“He does have two previous no insurances from 2009. In the interim he had been in Australia but he arrived home two years ago.”

He continued: “He had tried and failed the theory test three times but just before Christmas he was able to pass it and has since passed the full test.

“He is insured on his partner’s vehicle and his employer has spoken of the possibility of further duties due to this. I ask that you do not disqualify him.”

District Judge Stephen Keown stated: “A disqualification should be expected with the number of offences, but I will give you credit for your plea of guilty and the gap in your offending.”

Hagan was handed six penalty points and was ordered to pay a fine of £800, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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