By Donal McMahon
An award-winning Newry gym owner is to appeal a four month road ban for driving whilst disqualified.
Declan Trainor (32) of Rossmara Park, Warrenpoint was also pleaded guilty of using a motor vehicle without insurance on December 8, 2020.
The Newry court heard that a PSNI patrol on the A1 bypass close to the Belfast Road observed an Audi A7.
Checks were done on the vehicle registration with no insurance discovered and the car was pulled over.
Trainor was identified as the driver who had been disqualified in Newry magistrates on October 12, 2020 for two months.
During a PSNI interview the defendant admitted the offences, though claimed he had understood his disqualification for two months was actually for 56 days and that he was covered by trader insurance policy.
Defence solicitor, Ciaran Downey said his client had previously been disqualified for a “particularly high” speeding offence.
“This was a technical breach, for which he has now been made aware,” said Mr Downey.
The court heard that Trainor has researched on the government website, NI Direct on when a new licence could be applied for following a disqualification, which he thought was 56 days.
“He believed this to be eight weeks over the two months and made a genuine error.
“He has receipts from the amount of money he has spent on taxis in order to keep in line with the disqualification as well as witness statements from family members who have also provided lifts to him in that period.
“This is an exceptional case and I ask the courts to show leniency,” added Mr Downey.
District judge Eamonn King said that the only error the defendant had made was not to check with his solicitor on the length of the road ban.
“The court has some sympathy with the defendant,” said Mr King.
Trainor was disqualified for four months and fined £515.
A late application for bail to appeal was granted at £250.
However, there was no leave to drive with the disqualification still in place.