Driver claims ginger cat caused car crash

A LISNASKEA MAN who claimed he crashed into an electricity pole after a cat ran out in front of him while he was driving home from work has been fined and given penalty points for careless driving. 
Barry McDermott (25) of Monancloy Road, Monanacloy appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to failing to report a damage-only accident and careless driving. 
Police were called to the scene of the collision on the Ballagh Road, Lisnaskea on the night of December 8th last. When they arrived they found the car had crashed into an electricity pole and knocked it down. The airbags of the car were deployed.  
The defendant was not at the scene but he contacted the police himself the next day. McDermott told them he had swerved to avoid a ginger cat, which had caused the crash. 
Defence solicitor Michelle McVeigh said the road was very familiar to McDermott, who drives it daily. The crash happened when he was returning from work, and it had been a rainy day so the road was wet. Ms McVeigh said McDermott had collided with the electricity pole when he took evasive action to avoid the cat. 
After the collision McDermott was shocked and went to the home of a nearby relative. Ms McVeigh said the defendant hadn’t been aware failing to report the incident was an offence, and he had not been making a deliberate attempt to hide his involvement. 
The court was told McDermott’s father’s insurance had paid out £1,800 for the damage caused to the electricity pole. 
District Judge Michael Ranaghan said while McDermott would have been in shock after the accident, the shock would have worn off and he should have contacted the police. With regard to the careless driving, the judge said if McDermott had been paying more attention the crash may have been avoided. 
McDermott was fined a total of £250 and had six penalty points endorsed on his licence. 

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