A 25-YEAR-OLD man crashed his BMW into a field at the weekend after reversing away at speed from a police checkpoint, Fermanagh Magistrates Court has heard.

Daniel Purcell, of Drumakeenan, Red Hill, Belturbet, County Cavan, fled the scene of the accident at Moorlough Road, Newtownbutler on Sunday afternoon, but was apprehended by police while he hid in a ditch in undergrowth in the area around 30 minutes later.

Purcell pleaded guilty to six motoring offences when he was subsequently brought before Fermanagh Magistrates Court on Monday.

The defendant admitted using a motor vehicle without insurance, not having a licence and driving without due care and attention on July 9, 2017.

He further admitted failing to stop for police, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and failing to report the accident.

The court heard that, at 3.50pm on Sunday, uniformed police were conducting a checkpoint on Moorlough Road.

As officers were in the process of searching a vehicle, a queue of traffic built up on the road.

Police looked on as a black BMW that was fourth in the queue pulled out of the line and reversed “very fast” away from the checkpoint.

However, as it turned, the car lost control, crashed through a hedge and came to rest in a field four foot below.

Officers observed as the defendant alighted from the vehicle and made off on foot towards the Letterbreen Road.

He was subsequently apprehended by police in a ditch in undergrowth in the area some 30 minutes later, the court heard.

During interview, Purcell admitted to officers that he “panicked” when he saw the checkpoint, which led to the car crashing into the field.

Defending solicitor, Myles McManus, told the court that one of the police officers who had dealt with his client said he had “never dealt with a more cooperative young man”.

Mr. McManus said that the defendant had been interviewed at the station without a solicitor and made full admissions.

The solicitor said that it would cost Purcell 4,700 euro to insure the car, which had been seized by the PSNI.

Mr. McManus said his client would not be taking steps to have the vehicle returned and it would most likely be scrapped.

In mitigation, the solicitor said Purcell had a clear record and urged the judge to deal with him as leniently as possible in the circumstances.

District judge, Ken Nixon, observed that the defendant’s careless driving had been “borderline dangerous”.

The judge imposed a three-month jail term, suspended for two years, and disqualified him from driving for three months.