Driver who hit mum and child on beach jailed

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A Donegal man whose car struck a mother and child on Benone beach has been jailed for three and half years.

At Derry Crown Court today, Paul John Doherty, of Ballynahone, Fahan, pleaded guilty to a total of seven motoring offences on July 21, last year.

They include dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop, report or remain where an accident occurred.

The charges relate to an incident on Benone beach.

Four year old Abbie Wilkinson sustained a broken collarbone as a result of the collision. Her mother Diane had bruising to her legs and both were detained in hospital overnight.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Babington said: “This was an appalling incident in which the defendant, fuelled no doubt by alcohol, and by the encouragement of unknown friends in his car, engaged in driving that was both outrageous and obviously dangerous on a public beach in midsummer during a period of good weather.”

He added: “There were many families and young children enjoying themselves and they had every right to think that they would be safe from this type of behaviour in such a location.”

He imposed a determinate sentence of three and a half years, 21 months of which will be spent in custody and the rest on licence. He also banned the 30-year-old from driving for seven years.




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