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Fine for farmer who crashed ‘battered and bruised’ farm van

40-year-old admits driving without due care

A farmer from Castletown has been fined £550 after crashing his ‘battered and bruised’ farm van into another motorist.

David John Cooil, of Ballagawne Road, was sentenced in his absence at Douglas Courthouse after admitting driving without due care and attention on 18 August.

Police were called to Ballafesson Road in Port Erin just after 2pm to a two-vehicle crash – Cooil had pulled out into the path of the oncoming driver.

Officers who assessed his vehicle found the front offside tyre was worn, with its structural cords exposed, and there were issues with damage to the clutch and brake pedals and lights.

Entering his plea via postal admission the 40-year-old also admitted having a vehicle that was in a dangerous condition – telling the court he was too busy to go to court due to work commitments.

In a letter written to the high bailiff Cooil described himself as a ‘conscientious’ member of the community who had helped the woman at the scene adding: “The incident was a genuine accident.”

The court heard the woman he’d crashed into had written a letter of reference in support of him.

Cooil said the van he was driving was a farm vehicle which had been attacked by cattle and the damaged tyre was an ‘oversight’.

Fining Cooil, and ordering him to pay £50 in prosecution costs, High Bailiff Jayne Hughes said the dangerous condition of the vehicle had not contributed to the crash.

“I treat this as a one-off incident – a momentary lapse of concentration,” she added.

Cooil also had six penalty points added to his driving licence.  

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