A Carryduff motorist whose younger brother was killed in collision whilst the family were on holiday was spared jail on Friday after he admitted causing the fatal crash.
Crown Court Judge Stephen Fowler told 27-year old Christopher Ian Curran “the punishment of the court pales into insignificance compared to the suffering your family has gone through”.
Curran, from Baronscourt Road, admitted causing the death of his 11-year old brother Jamie Foat by driving without due care and attention on April 1, 2015.
He was placed on 12 months probation and was banned from driving for a year.
The fatal collision occurred on the Lough Shore Road in Enniskillen whilst three generations of the family were holidaying in Donegal.
Curran, who sustained serious injuries after losing control of an A3, cannot recall what happened.
The defendant and the deceased were half-brothers, and their mother sat in the public gallery at Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast.
Branding the accident as “dreadful”, Judge Fowler addressed her directly and said he had read a letter she provided to the court. Saying Jamie’s death was “heart-rendering for you”, the judge told the Carryduff woman: “This is a tragedy for everyone concerned, and the loss of Jamie can never be replaced.”
Prosecutor barrister Jackie Orr QC said the fatal collision occurred when Curran was 23. Curran was driving between Enniskillen and Belleek when he lost control and collided with a Peugeot van.
The van driver sustained a bruised sternum, while the two brothers were seriously injured.
An off-duty policeman offered assistance at the scene, and when the emergency services arrived Jamie – who had been in the front seat – was removed via the sunroof.
Curran was treated for injuries including the removal of his spleen and multiple fractures to his spine and ribs.
Jamie was pronounced dead on April 4 following the withdrawal of his treatment with his parents’ consent.
Ms Orr said there were no aggravating factors such as excessive speed, alcohol or drugs, or mobile phone use.
Defence barrister David McDowell QC said Curran had to live with his brother dying as a result of a mistake he made.