Iris Robinson fined over road crash
Published 02/02/2011 | 12:39
Scandal-hit former MP Iris Robinson has been fined for causing a road crash in east Belfast.
The wife of Stormont First Minister and Democratic Unionist leader Peter Robinson was handed a £200 fine and three penalty points after admitting driving without due care and attention.
Newtownards Magistrates' Court was told the 61-year-old ploughed into the side of another motorist as he tried to turn right at a junction as she drove home from church in October 2009.
The incident happened just over two months before the MP found herself embroiled in one of the biggest controversies to hit Northern Ireland politics after it emerged she helped her teenage lover secure a business contract in her own council area.
Since then the one-time Stormont health committee chairwoman, who attempted suicide after she admitted the affair to her husband, has been receiving medical treatment for depression and withdrawn from public life.
She did not appear in court for the brief hearing.
The incident took place on the Gransha Road near the Robinson family home in Castlereagh on Sunday, October 18, 2009.
A crown lawyer told magistrate Mark Hamill the man driving in front of the politician had slowed and indicated to turn right off the road when Mrs Robinson moved to overtake him and crashed into the side of the vehicle as it turned across her.
The lawyer said her car "impacted at considerable speed into the right hand side of his vehicle". She said the collision caused substantial damage but no major injuries.
A lawyer representing Mrs Robinson stressed to the magistrate that she had been driving for 35 years with a clean record, adding: "This was unfortunate, just an unfortunate accident with a momentary lapse of concentration."