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Priest admits dangerous driving charge

Carlisle Magistrates Court

A Catholic priest has appeared before Carlisle and North Cumbria Magistrates Court in Carlisle and admitted a `dangerous driving` charge.

Father John Moriarty, 36, of Presbytery, High Hill, Keswick, pleaded guilty to the charge.

The court was told he was driving near to Warcop in his Mitsubishi car when he momentarily fell asleep at the wheel, the collision occurred at around 5.30pm on Saturday July 28 of last year, he drifted across the carriageway and crashed into two-on-coming cars causing substantial damage to all three vehicles said prosecutor Pam Ward. No serious injuries were caused to the drivers or passengers.

Lauren Heasley on behalf of Father John told the magistrates he is the pastor for the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Lancaster’s youth service, he was just returning home from a visit to Lourdes on a pilgrimage with a group of young people, he returned home to Keswick and then got ready to drive to Catterick Garrison as he is the Army Cadets Chaplin and was going to be there for a few days.

It had been a very long day coming home from Calais on a coach and then later driving, he felt he had to keep these professional appointments, but admitted he was tired and fell asleep at the wheel, he can just remember waking up and seeing the cars ahead and immediately swerved, but hit the cars said Mrs Heasley, he apologised at the accident scene, this was a momentary lapse in concentration and he has shown genuine remorse.

He was disqualified from driving for 15-months, fined £398 with court costs of £85 and a victim’s surcharge of £40.

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