Man admits careless driving death

Published Wednesday, 21 May 2014
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A north Antrim man faces up to five years in jail after he admitted killing a university professor by careless driving.

Man admits careless driving death
The fatal crash happened in February 2012. (© UTV)

The Antrim Crown Court trial of Geoffrey William McLaughlin, 40, was dramatically halted on Wednesday, two days after it started, when defence QC Martin O'Rourke asked for the charges to be put to him again.

McLaughlin, from Ford Road in Stranocum near Ballymoney, had been accused of causing the death of Prof Edmund Cairns, 66, by dangerous driving and of causing grievous bodily injury to his own 13-year-old son, also by dangerous driving, on the Ballyrashane Road in Coleraine on 16 February, 2012.

At his re-arraignment, however, McLaughlin admitted causing the married father-of-three's death and injuring his son by careless driving, pleas which prosecution QC Terence Mooney said were acceptable to the Crown.

No facts of the case were opened on Wednesday as Judge Desmond Marrinan adjourned passing sentence - but it is understood the tragedy happened when McLaughlin's van collided with the car being driven by Prof Cairns close to his home.

McLaughlin himself and his two sons, who were in the vehicle at the time, were also injured in the collision.

After the short 15 minute hearing, McLaughlin was released on continuing bail and will be sentenced on 25 June when pre-sentence probation reports have been compiled.

© UTV News
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