Judge voices outrage after defendant breaches court order

Judge voices outrage after defendant breaches court order

The case was heard at Craigavon Magistrates' Court.

Staff Reporter

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A motorist, who drove on two separate occasions whilst disqualified and without insurance, has been jailed for eight months pending appeal.

The case of William Martin Follis, (33), of Mullan Road, Ballymoney, was heard at Craigavon Courthouse sitting on Friday, July 8.

The court heard that on July 5 last year, the defendant was detected driving in the Lurgan area in the breach of a disqualification and an admission was made when interviewed.

Furthermore, on September 15 last year, Follis was again detected driving in breach of a disqualification in the Craigavon area and an admission was made.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to a charge of no insurance on each date.

Aaron Thompson, defending, outlined that his client’s driving problems started following the end of his marriage in 2020 and he “completely and utterly lost his way”.

It was added that he “buried his head in the sand emotionally” but he is on the cusp of completing a previously imposed community service order.

Mr Thompson continued by explaining that Follis has moved out of the Craigavon area to Ballymoney, where he has gained employment with an engineering firm.

Whilst acknowledging that this behaviour won’t be tolerated by the court, Mr Thompson confirmed that this is Follis’ last case to be resolved and that there are no further matters pending before him.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “There are several aggravating features to these cases.

“Firstly, both of these were committed in a breach of a court order, in other words, you do what you want to do, it doesn’t matter what the law asks you to do.

“Secondly, as I’ve already pointed out, the second set of offences I have before me were committed twelve days after you got bail from this court to appeal a prison sentence imposed by this court in one case for exactly the same offence.

“Since then, you have amassed a litany of having no insurance charges.

“I appreciate everything that Mr Thompson has said on your behalf and if weren’t for the flagrant breach of this court’s authority, if it weren’t for the flagrant breach of driving whilst disqualified and with no insurance while on bail, I might have found possible to consider some of the suggestions Mr Thompson has indicated but I can’t overlook that.

“It wasn’t just a breach of court order for not to drive but you breached the bail order and you carried out driving whilst disqualified and without insurance.

“There has to be an end point and the law has to be enforced.”

For the offences on July 5, 2021, the Judge imposed a three-month custodial sentence for driving whilst disqualified and a two-month custodial sentence for driving without insurance. Those periods of custody are to run concurrently with each other.

The Judge imposed a five-month custodial sentence for driving whilst disqualified and a three-month custodial sentence for driving without insurance on September 15 last year. Those periods of custody are to run concurrently with each other.

However, the two sets of charges are to run consecutively with each other, totalling eight months custody.

Follis was disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months in the first set of charges and 15 months in the second.

The defendant was released on bail pending appeal of £500 with stringent conditions.

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