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Judge tears strips off driver over rude T-shirt

A MAGISTRATE tore strips off a young man over his designer French Connection T-shirt, which he said he found extremely offensive.

Written across the front of the black T-shirt were the words "I live to f**k", which Magistrate Mervyn Bates ruled was totally inappropriate dress for the court.

His criticism of 26-year-old Daniel Lynch's T-shirt came after he fined him a total of £310 (?420) and banned him for driving for three months at Strabane Court.

Mr Bates earlier had told Mr Lynch, from Tullyowen, St Johnston, Donegal, that he was not impressed by his past motoring record after hearing details of the case.

He told him that within four years he had picked up his third conviction for driving without insurance. Mr Bates fined him £250 (?320) and banned him on his latest insurance offence.

Fines totalling a further £60 (?90) were imposed for driving a vehicle that had defective parts and accessories on the same date.

The court heard he had turned away from a checkpoint at Lifford Road, Strabane on July 5, 2003, but was apprehended by police. Defence solicitor, John Fahy said his client had been arrested after he surrendered to bail.

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