Stock car racer and mother assaulted race rival

Karl Smyth was fined �250 and ordered to pay �250 to his victim
Karl Smyth was fined �250 and ordered to pay �250 to his victim

Police were called after a stock car driver nicknamed ‘Speedy’, along with his mother, angrily confronted a rival racer.

Karl Smyth, 28, of Ennismore Hall, Ballymena, whose stock car races under the number ‘999’ and also bears the message ‘Let the sparks fly’, stormed into the vehicle of another racer at Ballymena Showgrounds.

It was claimed the defendant was forced off the track just as he was on course to win a title.

Defence barrister Stephen Law told Ballymena Magistrates’ Court tempers flared after Smyth was competing at Ballymena Raceway in September last year.

Smyth previously pleaded guilty to assaulting another racer, occasioning him actual bodily harm.

Beside the defendant in his court was his mother, Annabel Smyth, 48, of Hillmount, Garvagh, who had pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault against the other racer.

A prosecutor said after 8.30pm on Friday September 23 last year police were called to Ballymena Showgrounds where the injured party had been assaulted by the Smyths.

Karl Smyth and the injured party had been taking part in a stock car race and after the injured party “knocked him off the track” during a race Annabel Smyth grabbed him through the window of his car and hit him in the face.

Karl Smyth then got into the car and began hitting the man and during the assault he bent his arm back behind a seat before the defendant was pulled out of the vehicle by security staff.

The prosecutor said the injured driver attended Coleraine’s Causeway Hospital with a dislocated shoulder and he was subsequently absent from work due to the injury.

The prosecutor said that during a police interview, Annabel Smyth claimed the injured party had “swung” at her, and Karl Smyth said there had been a “shoving match” and he had not intended to cause the shoulder injury. However, both later pleaded guilty.

Defence barrister Mr Law said both defendants had completely clear criminal records and the incident was “out of character”.

He said “tempers flared” after a stock car race.

“Karl Smyth was due to win the title and it was a deliberate act by the injured party to take him out,” alleged Mr Law.

The barrister claimed the manoeuvre was “so dangerous” it led to the other driver being banned by the race authorities for six months.

Mr Law said with “adrenaline flowing” Karl Smyth had approached the other driver to remonstrate.

Deputy District Judge Peter Magill fined Karl Smyth £250 and ordered that he pays £250 compensation to the victim, and gave Annabel Smyth a one-year conditional discharge.