Tuesday 20 November 2018

'Selfish' driver drove at 189kph at Castlebaldwin

Christopher McDevitt was convicted of careless driving at Sligo Courthouse
Christopher McDevitt was convicted of careless driving at Sligo Courthouse

Sorcha Crowley

A man who drove at an "outrageous" speed of 189kph on the N4 just outside Castlebaldwin last September has admitted he did so out of pure selfishness.

Christopher McDevitt (27) of Cruckakeehan, Annagry, Donegal, overtook a Garda car in his Toyota Corolla at 6.55pm 22nd September 2017 doing 189kph on the Dublin side of Castlebaldwin.

He was charged with dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of careless driving at Sligo District Court on 21st December last.

Inspector Paul Kilcoyne told Judge Kevin Kilrane that the incident happened on a Friday evening between 1-2km from the village of Castlebaldwin.

Defence solicitor Mr Gerard McGovern told the judge that the Gardaí activated their blue light when McDevitt overtook them but he co-operated "1000%" with them afterwards.

He said his client was a hard worker and had never been in court before in his life.

"He's working in Cork and travelled up to meet this offence," said Mr McGovern, asking the judge not to disqualify McDevitt as he needed his licence for work.

"There was no other traffic in jeopardy. Unfortunately he was driving too hard.

"It was still going far too fast. This man tells me he has learned a lesson and values his licence," he added.

Judge Kilrane said the aggravating factors in the case were that it was a Friday evening when the traffic would be normally quite heavy with people coming and going from Dublin and Sligo.

Also, he said the N4 at that location was still just a two-lane carriageway, "not a dual carriageway."

He added that there were "deceiving bends" on that road.

"The speed is quite outrageous, 189kph, which is about 110 miles per hour," the judge told McDevitt.

"Do you know how many yards you'd travel in a second?" He asked the defendant, who replied he didn't know.

"Approximately 50 yards. In four seconds you'd cover 120-130 yards.

"That's a shocking speed, why were you going so fast?" He asked McDevitt.

"I was travelling over from England. It was just pure selfish what I was doing," replied McDevitt.

Judge Kilrane remarked that the car would have been "ready to take off" he was driving so fast.

"I'll reduce it to careless driving - it does amount to dangerous driving, but it'll cost you," he told McDevitt. He convicted McDevitt of careless driving and fined him €750.

Sligo Champion