A Portadown teenager who claims she did not stop for police as she was afraid of the passengers she had on board has been handed five penalty points.
A district judge warned the 19-year-old mother-of-two that she “needs to be more careful when choosing the company that she keeps”.
Aine O’Neill, of Charlestown Road, pleaded guilty to driving without due care or attention and failing to stop for police at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Court heard that on March 13, at around 1.10am, police watched as two people got into a vehicle that made off at speed from outside J.D Tipler’s, Portadown.
Officers followed as the car travelled at 50mph in a 30mph zone and the vehicle did not stop when police turned on blue lights.
The car turned on to Princess Way where it continued at speed with the wheels losing contact with the road before it finally came to a halt.
Two males made off from the vehicle but the defendant, who was the driver, remained.
O’Neill made no comment when interviewed about the offences.
Prosecution stated O’Neill had initially faced more serious charges but these were withdrawn.
These included aiding and abetting burglary with intent to steal and excess speed.
Defence barrister Ciara Ennis stated: “In the interview I have read she makes defences against the other matters and accepts these charges.”
She said: “Ms O’Neill has just given birth to her second child; her other child is four.
“They have to visit the Royal Victoria Hospital every three months. Ms O’Neill needs her licence.”
Ms Ennis added: “On this night she was with people she would not normally be with and stupidly stayed with them.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “If she was driving why did she not just stop the car?”
Ms Ennis stated that the defendant was scared of the people who were in the vehicle.
District Judge Kelly responded: “There’s a police car behind her, that is the perfect opportunity to stop and tell the police look I am scared of these people.”
She added: “I know last March she was not pregnant but she did have a child at home, she was prepared to wreck her own car and possibly leave her child without a mother.”
Ms Ennis stated: “She would not be the sort of girl who would normally find herself in this sort of situation.
“She had a very tough pregnancy during which she spent more time in hospital than out due to surgeries.”
District Judge Kelly commented: “She needs to be more careful when choosing the company that she keeps.”
O’Neill was handed five penalty points and ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.