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‘Inexperience’ blamed as teenager admits causing grievous bodily injury in south Armagh crash

Defence said: 'He did also injure his friend during this and they continue to be friends'

Police accident

A teenager who injured a friend during a road accident which was put down to inexperience has been disqualified from driving for two years.

The district judge told the 19-year-old: “You were barely 18 at the time, behind the wheel of a car. It is a danger when someone with a lack of experience gets into a car.”

David Gernon, of Castle Ross in Dundalk, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily injury by careless driving, using a vehicle without insurance, no licence and no MOT at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

It was heard that at 11pm on January 30, of last year, police were called to a road traffic collision on the New Road, Silverbridge, involving two vehicles, one of which, a silver Hyundai, had been left on a grass verge.

Officers deduced that the defendant, who had been the driver of the other car involved, had pulled out from a side road into the path of the Hyundai.

When interviewed, Gernon made full admissions to the offence.

Defence solicitor Michael McVerry stated: “We have a hugely helpful probation report. It highlights the impact this has had on Mr Gernon.

“In terms of insight and remorse, he is genuine and heartfelt.”

He continued: “This has been a life-changing event but it must be said that this could have been a lot worse.

“He has no record, he left school before taking the leaving CERT but has a good work history and this has been a plea from the outset.”

Mr McVerry said: “He has displayed everything positive since the incident. It is clear this was down to lack of experience.

“He did also injure his friend during this and they continue to be friends.”

District Judge Eamonn King stated: “You pleaded guilty to a number of motoring matters which arose out of this accident.

“You were barely 18 at the time, behind the wheel of a car. It is a danger when someone with a lack of experience gets into a car.”

Gernon was disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay a fine of £550, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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