Wednesday, 27 June 2018


A COOKSTOWN man who admitted causing the death of a popular vintage vehicle enthusiast has been given Community Service and a lengthy driving disqualification.
Robert George Victor Wylie was driving a tractor-and-trailer along the Moneymore dual carriageway at around 9.30am on 17 July 2015 on way to a vintage rally, when he was struck from behind. The impact caused the tractor to overturn, and Mr Wylie died at the scene.
Appearing in the dock of Dungannon Crown Court was Ivan Davison (61) of Dunmore Park who was scheduled to go on trial last month accused of causing death by dangerous driving.
This specific charge was denied but Davison pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
A barrister appearing on behalf of the prosecution confirmed this was acceptable.
Prosecution counsel explained Mr Wylie's tractor was travelling at around 13mph, when Davison approached from behind at a much greater speed, although not in excess of the road limit.
It was agreed forensic reports confirmed there were no aggravating features, but the prosecution pointed out the victim's family, whilst recognising the guilty plea, had difficulty with the fact it did not come sooner.
Aged 65, Mr Wylie - known as Victor - was the father of a daughter and grandfather of four. He had been travelling in a convoy with three others to a vintage vehicle rally when his trailer was struck from behind by a Honda 4x4, driven by Davison.
Mr Wylie sustained multiple injuries and died instantly.
Defence counsel told the court: "This is truly a tragedy, not least as both men were neighbours in a rural community and shared an affection for vintage tractors."
He said his client is considerably affected by guilt and moral responsibility, but did not seek to compare this in any way to the suffering of the victim's family.
Davison described, "huge shame in being the instrument of a friend and neighbour's death".
Judge Rafferty said it occurred to him the third anniversary of the tragedy is approaching, making this even more difficult for the family of the deceased.
Addressing the victim's daughter, who was seated in the public gallery, the Judge said, "Your father was a good man. His heart would burst with pride at the daughter he produced."
Turning to Davison he said: "This was a tragic and needless accident ... It is clear your moral compass has been affected by this and you have required and continue to require psychological treatment.
"You continue to be absolutely pre-occupied with the incident and you are deeply concerned for the welfare of the victim's family.
“I am satisfied your remorse, guilt and shame are genuine."
Judge Rafferty said it would be disproportionate to imprison Davison and instead imposed a 240 hours Community Service Order, with a driving disqualification of three years.
He concluded: "People must understand these tragedies happen to good people.
“The lesson from this terrible incident is we should all stop, think and take a little more care so these needless accidents with such terrible, tragic consequences are reduced."


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