Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone ice cream man fined €500 for threatening rival on Co Donegal beach

A Co Tyrone ice cream man has been fined €500 for threatening a rival in Co Donegal. File picture from Press Association

AN ice cream van man from Co Tyrone has been fined €500 after threatening a rival in Co Donegal whom he believed had invaded his patch.

Tom Ward, from Drumnakilly, Omagh, faced a string of charges over the row on Rossnowlagh Beach on July 18 2017.

Judge Kevin Kilrane described the matter as an “ice cream truck war”, prompting laughter in Ballyshannon District Court yesterday.

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 men following a previous altercation in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

The court heard Mr Ward rammed another ice cream van driven by Mr Kernan and then shunted it forward while customers were being served on Rossnowlagh beach.

Mr Kernan said Mr Ward swore at him, stole his keys and initially refused to give them back.

Mr Ward told the court that he took Mr Kernan's keys after he "parked in front of my bumper".

He admitted he "tipped" the other van but said he handed the keys back after "five minutes".

Judge Kilrane fined Mr Ward €500 for threatening and abusive behaviour.

But he dismissed a charge of careless driving against Mr Ward, even though the defendant had pleaded guilty to that charge.

The judge said Mr Kernan's evidence in connection with the alleged careless driving was a "gross exaggeration" because there was barely a scratch on his van.

He struck out the remaining charges of stealing keys, having no insurance and failing to produce insurance.

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