23 May 2022

Crashed stolen car in to herd of cows

An uninsured and disqualified driver who crashed a car he'd stolen into a herd of ninety dairy cows has been sentenced


Derry Courthouse

An uninsured and disqualified driver who crashed a car he'd stolen into a herd of ninety dairy cows, killing three of the animals, has been jailed for six months and disqualified from driving for three years at the Crown Court in Derry.

Judge Philip Babington ordered that the six month jail term should be consecutive to a five year jail sentence which Paul Martin O'Hagan, 33, from Drumderg Road in Draperstown, received along with a ten year driving ban on June 10 of last year when he was convicted of several driving offences including seriously injuring a female pensioner by dangerous driving in May 2017.

A barrister for the Public Prosecution Service told Judge Babington that last June 10, O'Hagan took a car without the owner's permission and drove it towards Portglenone.

As he approached the edge of the town two local farmers were moving a herd of cows across the road back from milking into a field. One of the men stood on the road at the rear of the herd to signal oncoming traffic to slow down.

O'Hagan drove the Audi A4 car at speed towards the herd forcing the signal man to jump off the road. The car then skidded and collided with the herd of cows as a result of which three of the animals had to be put down by a vet.

The estimated cost of the cows was £4,500, the farmers had to pay vet charges and the stolen car was a write off.

On January 10 of last year, when again he was a disqualified driver, O'Hagan drove a motor cycle around Magherafelt without insurance.

He was seen by members of a police vehicle checkpoint riding the motor cycle in Broad Street and in Station Road. Police checks showed the motor cycle was uninsured and when he was stopped by the officers O'Hagan initially gave them a false name, for which he later apologised.

The prosecutor said in total O'Hagan, who admitted all of the offences, had a total of fifty road traffic convictions and just last month he was convicted of two motoring offences which he committed in September 2018.

Judge Babington said O'Hagan's driving record was quite appalling and said it was fortunate that the signal man behind the herd of cows had not been seriously injured.

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