A LOVE-STRUCK learner driver rushing home to see his girlfriend on Valentine's Day was caught speeding at 160kph, a court has heard.
Agricultural student Stanley Eaton was stopped by gardai near Newtowncunningham, Co Donegal, on the night of February 13.
Judge Paul Kelly told a defence solicitor at Letterkenny District Court that the reading of 160kph was "the equivalent of 100mph".
Eaton (19) was on his way to Donegal from Gurteen College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
"It was a case where he was driving from Tipperary on a very long journey, was almost home and on his way to see his girlfriend," said solicitor Frank Dorrian.
"This incident occurred on a long stretch of straight road and he had allowed his speed to creep up."
Mr Dorrian said Eaton, from Glenmacquinn, Letterkenny, admitted the speeding offence.
Judge Kelly told Eaton that he was "a very lucky man" that gardai had caught him speeding when they did, before an accident happened.
"A learner's permit does not allow you to drive unaccompanied and certainly not at these speeds. You could have caused a serious accident," Judge Kelly told the student.
He fined Eaton a total of €400 for speeding and driving unaccompanied and told him he must sit a driving test.
"Learner permits are not issued to allow people to drive when they like," said the judge.
Eaton said he hoped to sit his driving test in "the next couple of months".
The defendant added: "I'm sorry judge."