A young driver whose BMW car went “airborne” and struck an oncoming car on a public road outside Rasharkin claimed he had only just bought it to race on a track.
Liam Kenneth McClune, (21) a plasterer of Lismoyle Road near Kilrea, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court for sentencing on charges including dangerous driving.
He had driven up behind an unmarked police car stopped at traffic lights near Kilrea, and the noise coming from the vehicle as it approached from McLaughlin’s Corner attracted police officers attention on March 6 this year, a prosecutor said.
The prosecutor said when McClune identified the vehicle as a police vehicle he turned left into Doneyshiel Road and police turned round to follow and discovered the car had collided with an oncoming Kia car.
Two occupants of the BMW 520 made off on foot but were caught by police.
The Kia driver said the BMW was “airborne” when the collision happened.
Police discovered faults on the BMW including the installation of a roll-bar and “exposed wiring” which made it unsafe.
A defence solicitor said the consequences of the collision could have been a lot more serious.
He said the BMW was bought for “racing on a track” and his client should have used a low-loader to bring it home but instead made a foolish decision to drive it back.
“The car was fit for the track and not fit for the road,” he added.
District Judge Liam McNally said McClune had attributed the collision to a wobbly front wheel rather than speed.
The defendant was being sentenced on charges including dangerous driving; using a vehicle in a dangerous condition; no MOT and absence of insurance.
The judge said he was “horrified” by the manner of the driving and jailed the defendant for four months; banned him from the road for two years and fined him a total of £500.
McClune was released pending an appeal.