Man drove wrong way up the Birches on-slip

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A Portadown man with a 64-year clear driving record had a charge of dangerous driving dismissed against him last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

However William James May (82), Mullantine Road, Portadown, was convicted of driving without due care and attention.

For this he was fined £250 and disqualified from driving for four months.

He was fined £120 on each charge of failing to report an accident, failing to stop and failing to remain at the scene.

The court heard that on May 23 last year the defendant was driving on the motorway when he crossed onto the opposite carriageway and drove the wrong way up an on-slip at the Birches.

A barrister representing May said he just felt that he had to get the vehicle off the road as quickly as possible.

She said he had been driving for 64 years with no previous convictions. He drove in the family business and renewed his HGV licence every year. He had no intention of driving an HGV vehicle again.

The evidence was agreed but May would plead not guilty to dangerous driving but guilty to careless driving, said the barrister.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said that a medical report showed that the defendant was in reasonably good health. There was a reference from a responsible person and he had no previous record.

The judge added that May clearly accepted having crossed the central reservation he should have stopped, reported the accident and remained at the scene.

But he didn’t have a phone and went home to report it but the police arrived.

Judge Bates said that taking everything into account he found the defendant guilty of careless driving but it was at the higher end of this offence.