Man pleads guilty over beach crash

Published Monday, 24 February 2014
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A Donegal man has pleaded guilty at Derry's Crown Court to committing a series of driving offences at Benone Beach last summer during which a mother and her young daughter were struck by a BMW car.

Man pleads guilty over beach crash
The crash happened on Benone Beach last summer. (© UTV)

Paul John Doherty, 30 and a self employed plasterer from Ballyhone in Fahan, was arrested several hours after the incident following a police search operation which included the deployment of a police helicopter.

At his arraignment before Judge Philip Babington on Monday, Doherty pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Benone Beach and at the Seacoast Road in Limavady on 21 July.

He also pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath at Benone Beach and to driving with excess alcohol in his breath between Benone Avenue and the Barnailt Road in Limavady.

In addition, Doherty further replied guilty to charges of failing to stop at the scene of the injury accident on Benone Beach, failing to report the injury accident to the PSNI and guilty to failing to remain at the scene of the accident.

A prosecution barrister told the court that Doherty has two previous convictions for dangerous driving in the Republic of Ireland - at Buncrana Circuit Court on the dates 12 February, 2004 and 7 May, 2007.

Defence barrister Joe Brolly told Judge Babington that Doherty wished to express his deep regret for his actions on the day and for the position he now found himself in.

He said that Doherty had admitted the offences at the earliest opportunity and would co-operate fully with the Probation Service in terms of the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Mr Brolly said Doherty had fully complied with court imposed bail conditions.

They involved him travelling from his work in Edinburgh every fortnight to sign at the PSNI headquarters at Strand Road in Derry.

Doherty, who is not allowed to drive as part of his bail conditions, was released on continuing bail until he's sentenced for the offences on 31 March.

Mr Brolly said Doherty's employer would attend court on that date to give evidence.

© UTV News
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