‘Voices in head’ made banned motorist drive to McDonald’s

Gary Ryan Hill (28) from Ballymena given suspended sentence and five year road ban

An disqualified driver has told a court he got back behind the wheel to go to a McDonald’s outlet in the middle of the night because “the voices in his head told him to”. File photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

An disqualified driver has told a court he got back behind the wheel to go to a McDonald’s outlet in the middle of the night because “the voices in his head told him to”. File photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

 

A disqualified driver has told a court he got back behind the wheel to go to a McDonald’s in the middle of the night because “the voices in his head told him to” do so.

Gary Ryan Hill (28), of Queen Street, Ballymena, drove a car to a McDonald’s restaurant in the Co Antrim town at 2.45am on May 28th last even though he had been banned from driving for four years just weeks earlier.

A prosecutor said CCTV footage showed Hill and a co-defendant, who has already been sentenced, driving a Volkswagen Passat.

After hearing about the “voices”, District Judge Nigel Broderick asked if the defendant was fit to plead. Defence barrister Michael Smyth said he was.

Hill was in court on Thursday for sentencing on two charges of driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance in connection with the offence at North Street, Ballymena.

Mr Smyth said the car was not actually Hill’s but that his client had told police it was in an “effort to protect” his co-accused, a man with a family.

Judge Broderick noted Hill had already spent five weeks in custody on remand which he said was the equivalent of just over a two months sentence.

“I don’t see any purpose being served by returning you to prison,” he told Hill, as he suspended a five months jail term for two years.

The court was told Hill had been on a four year driving ban and the judge increased this to five years following the incident. Hill has more than 80 previous convictions including around 50 for traffic offences.