Northern Ireland

Life ban for Belfast takeaway crash driver

Car crash in north Belfast Image copyright bbc
Image caption The car crashed through the front of a Chinese takeaway

A disabled woman who knocked down three people, including a baby in a pram, has been banned from driving for life.

Rebecca Ruby McAllister, 51, admitted causing grievous bodily injury by careless driving in north Belfast.

The court heard she lost control of her car on a roundabout and veered across the road, mounting the pavement before crashing through the front of a Chinese takeaway.

McAllister, of Cliftonville Road, was also given a suspended jail sentence.

She had suffered a stroke a few years earlier and had only been driving the car for five months, a defence lawyer told Belfast Crown Court.

'Pinned'

Among those injured was a two-week-old boy who had been left outside the Cliftonville Road takeaway in a pram by a woman in her 50s, a prosecution lawyer said.

"She looked out the window and saw a black car coming across the roundabout, straight round the bend and coming towards her," she said.

"She immediately pushed the child out of the way and in the process she got pinned under the car which went right through and into the shop.''

A 10-year-old girl who was in the takeaway with her mother and sister was also badly injured.

The woman spent two months in hospital being treated for extensive injuries and her movement is now severely restricted.

The baby and the girl both suffered a fractured skull, but they have now made a full recovery.

In police interviews, McAllister could not explain how she lost control of the car and why she did not brake, the prosecution lawyer said.

A defence lawyer said McAllister only drove two miles a day before the accident and deeply regretted what happened.

"I can say to the court that she has no intention of ever getting behind the wheel of a car again," he said.

The judge imposed a 15-month sentence suspended for two years and a £200 fine for careless driving.

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