Builder jailed after causing two road crashes inside 15 minutes

The case was heard at Downpatrick Crown Court
The case was heard at Downpatrick Crown Court

A Co Down builder was jailed on Tuesday for two years and banned from driving for life after he struck two cars on the same day while three times the drink-drive limit.

Jailing Ivan Parkinson, 63, of Laurel Close, Saintfield, Judge Piers Grant warned him: “You will never drive again, given your record. Stay off the roads.’’

Parkinson had pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop and failing to report an accident in which injury had been caused.

The court was told that Parkinson was involved in two separate accidents on July 9, 2015, which happened five miles apart and within the space of 15 minutes.

Prosecution lawyer James Johnston said the first crash happened at 2.45pm on the Milltown Road in Belfast.

Then shortly after 3pm Parkinson’s van was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle – this time on Belfast’s Saintfield Road.

Frank O’Donoghue QC, defending, told the court: “At the heart of his bad driving is his alcohol addiction.”

Passing sentence, Judge Grant said that the appropriate sentence was one of four years, with two years to be spent in custody and a further two years on licence following his release.

He imposed concurrent sentences of two years for dangerous driving and four months each for driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.