Man in court after Houghton trike crash

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AN illegally converted trike crashed, injuring its rider and passenger.

The man driving it was prosecuted after pleading guilty to using an unsafe vehicle.

Thomas Hannan, from Shiney Row, also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Michael Rose said police were called to an accident in Chester Road, near Houghton, on August 8 last year.

Hannan, who works as a courier, was left seriously injured in the crash, caused when the nearside wheel fell off the converted Honda CX.

Investigating officer Pc Shane Askew said the bike had “quite a few defects”, and added: “I would consider it to be of poor quality, to put it mildly.”

The court heard that Hannan should have held a motorcycle licence in order to ride the trike, due to its weight and category.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Vosa) had no record of the conversion.

Chris Wilson, defending, said Hannan bought the trike six months before the accident.

“He did not convert the motorbike and made inquiries with the DVLA to find out what category it was.

“He was not aware that it had a defective wing nut on the motorbike, because if he had, he would not have driven it out himself in danger.”

He added: “The vehicle he was driving did have an MoT.

“The garage where it was tested is being investigated by Vosa and Northumbria Police, so he could well have been misled.”

District Judge Roger Elsey told Hannan: “In a sense you have already been punished for these offences, because you sustained severe injuries and, of course, you have to live with the fact that your passenger sustained serious injuries because of the condition of the vehicle.

“I take account of the fact that you purchased the vehicle after it had been converted, and that it has got a current MoT certificate.

“Given that the vehicle was in a condition which posed a danger to fellow road users, there has to be a fine.”

Hannan, of Hunter Street, was fined £25. He was also given six penalty points and ordered to pay £100 towards court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.