Crash man said car was stolen

A Banbridge man who rang 999 and falsely claimed that his car had been stolen, had earlier crashed it into an electricity pole.

Appearing before the local court last Thursday was Paul Reynolds (39) from Brookfield Meadows.

He was charged with wasting police time, failing to report an accident, failing to stop and driving without due care and attention.

He was fined £250 and banned from driving for 18 months. The court heard how on March 19 at 5am, police were tasked to Peggys Loaning, Banbridge after a report of a car striking an electricity pole. The driver had left the scene.

Checks on the police database revealed the vehicle was registered to a rental firm in Banbridge.

A short time later a 999 call was received saying the vehicle had been stolen from outside the house.

DNA samples taken from the car’s airbag were later found to be a positive match for Reynolds and during interview he admitted the offences and said he had been lying.

Solicitor Mr Daly said his client had acted stupidly and foolishly and had ultimately panicked.

District Judge Mr Copeland asked why Reynolds had been renting a car.

He was told the reason was to facilitate a house move.

Mr Copeland said, “This is strange given it was 5am and along with the fact he has multiple convictions for drugs offences means I have my suspicions as to why he tried to distance himself from this.”

Solicitor Mr Daly said his client, a father of four young children, should have known better. He was also ordered to pay an offenders levy of £15.