A Romanian man caught driving on the wrong side of the road without a licence or insurance has been fined £525 and banned from driving for six months.
Ioan Lacatus, of Jerusalem Street, Belfast, appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.
The 39-year-old was charged with driving without a licence, driving without insurance, driving without MOT and driving without due care and attention.
The court heard that November 1, 2018, police observed a blue Audi vehicle travelling on the Mahon Industrial Estate in Portadown on the wrong side of the road, before turning right towards Portadown town centre, whilst still on the wrong side of the road.
The vehicle was stopped a short time later and the defendant was spoken to by police.
Enquiries at the scene established that he had no licence, was not insured to drive and had no vehicle test certificates.
District Judge Bernie Kelly commented that driving on the wrong side of the road continuously should have been a dangerous driving charge, and not careless driving.
Stewart Ballentine, defending, told the court that the charges do not breach suspended sentences imposed on the defendant in 2019.
The court heard that a bench warrant was issued in April 2019 and that the defendant had returned to Romania to care for his ill mother. He returned to live in Northern Ireland with his wife and children when the bench warrant came to light.
When asked by the defence not to interfere with the defendant’s liberty, District Judge Kelly commented: “His liberty will be interfered with if he behaves like this going forward.”
For the charges before the court, the defendant was given a total fine of £525, together with the offender levy, and given 10 weeks to pay.
He was also disqualified from driving for six months.
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