Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone ice-cream van driver fined €500 over threats to rival

Tom Ward was fined €500 for threatening a rival he believed had invaded his patch

A CO Tyrone ice cream truck driver has been fined €500 for threatening a rival he believed had invaded his patch on a beach in Donegal.

Tom Ward (65) from Drumnakilly in Omagh rammed another van in an attempt to move it forward, Ballyshannon District Court heard.

The incident took place on Rossnowlagh Beach in July 2017.

Judge Kevin Kilrane described the matter as an “ice cream truck war”, to the laughter of the court.

Mr Ward was charged with stealing keys from Felim Kernan, using threatening and abusive behaviour, and careless driving.

He was also accused of having no insurance and failing to produce insurance.

The court was told there was "history" between the rival sellers following a previous altercation in Castlederg.

Mr Kernan told the court he was parked 20 yards away from Mr Ward when he rammed his vehicle and shunted him forward.

He said he was serving customers at the time when suddenly his engine switched off as Mr Ward took the keys from the ignition.

In his evidence Mr Ward told the court that he had been selling ice cream on the beach when Mr Kernan pulled his van in front of his vehicle.

He admitted tipping the other van but said he handed the keys back after “five minutes”.

Mr Ward said he did not know that Mr Kernan was going to contact gardaí.

The judge said there was a "history" between the parties who had been selling ice cream on the beach for years.

While saying he was satisfied that Ward had used threatening and abusive language, and fining him accordingly, he dismissed a charge of careless driving against the defendant.

The remaining charges of stealing keys, having no insurance and failing to produce insurance for an incident July 18 2017 were also struck out.

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