COURT: man did ‘donuts’ in ‘tribute’ to friend

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A ‘boy racer’ performed ‘donuts’ in a car on a County Antrim road in ‘tribute’ to a friend who at the time was fighting for his life in hospital, but subsequently tragically died from injuries sustained in a horror road smash.

Coleraine Magistrates Court was told on Monday that earlier in the day, Mark Leslie had attended a cross-community vigil at Magherahoney for John Reid and another man who were injured after a car crashed at Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney on August 30.

Mr Reid (21) - who was well-known to motorsports enthusiasts - was from Corkey near Loughgiel and subsequently passed away.The other man was released from hospital.

A prosecutor said police in plain clothes were at the Scenic Inn pub for an unrelated matter on September 1 last year and noticed a number of ‘boy racer’ style cars in the carpark which left and at the junction of the Ballyveely Road Leslie, driving a BMW, did ‘donuts’ - spinning of a car in a circle - as people in other vehicles looked on.

Police stopped Leslie (27), a lorry driver, of Drumadragh, Coleraine, and he denied his driving was dangerous and said he had been at a vigil that night for a friend who had been injured in a serious road traffic collision and it had been suggested to him he should carry out the ‘donuts’ as a tribute.

A defence lawyer accepted it was a “strange way to celebrate an injury caused to someone.”

District Judge Des Perry said police had talked about seeing “boy racer” style cars in the carpark and told Leslie he had behaved like a 17-year-old.

Leslie had been charged with dangerous driving but admitted a charge of careless driving and was given three penalty points and fined £300.