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Judge spares Markethill man driving ban despite his 12 penalty points

A Markethill man has been spared disqualification despite now having 12 penalty points on his driving licence.

The judge was urged to show some discretion to the 51-year-old after his legal representative argued factors which encouraged as much.

Robert Paul McClinchie, of Magherydogherty Road, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

It was heard that police spotted the defendant driving a Nissan Terrano on the Magherydogherty Road, which was flagged as being uninsured.

Officers followed McClinchie as he pulled into an address and spoke to him.

The defendant told police that he did not need insurance as this was a farm vehicle.

This was later checked by officers and found not to be true.

Defence solicitor Arleen Elliott stated that McClinchie “thought he was covered by his farm insurance”.

She explained that the defendant was a sheep farmer and had gone out to check on his livestock.

Ms Elliott said that during this McClinchie had “travelled over a short stretch of 50 yards of public road”.

She asked that District Judge Paul Copeland showed discretion if he were to hand out a driving ban.

Court learned that McClinchie already had six live penalty points and that if he were to receive another six disqualification was almost inevitable.

Ms Elliott stated that one of the defendant’s children required him for support.

She added that McClinchie’s long-term partner currently could not drive due to surgery.

Judge Copeland stated “that is enough” as he handed the defendant six penalty points and ordered McClinchie to pay a fine of £100, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

However, judge Copeland stated: “I am going to use my discretion not to disqualify this man”.

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