Dungannon surgeon banned from driving for a year after admitting causing death of pensioner by careless driving

Dr Mark Haynes
Dr Mark Haynes

A CONSULTANT urologist and cancer surgeon who admitted causing the death of a pensioner by careless driving was banned from driving for a year today and fined £500.

Sentencing Dr Mark Haynes (45) District Judge Rosie Watters said the events which led to the death of Colin Bryan Holliday was a “tragic case, I think, for everyone involved.”

She told Lisburn Magistrates Court, where both Dr. Haynes and Mr Holliday’s relatives attended in person, it was clear from the reports “what a loved grandfather and father the victim was.”

Dr Haynes, said the judge, “didn’t set out that day to cause any harm to anyone” but that a “piece of momentary inattention has led to terribly tragic circumstances for everybody.”

At an earlier hearing Dr Haynes, a consultant urologist and surgeon from Lisduff Grange in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mr Holliday by driving carelessly on the Hillhall Road on 28 September 2018.

Opening the facts of the case, a prosecuting lawyer told the court how police and the emergency services were called to the scene of the four car collision by a resident who lived nearby.

Mr Holliday, said the lawyer, was “conscious and breathing” but trapped in his Volkswagen Tiguan which had ended up on its roof and he had to be cut free by emergency services.

The pensioner was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries but tragically, “his condition deteriorated” and a scan revealed a brain haemorrhage.

Mr Holliday died on October 13, six days after his 83rd birthday.

The Public Prosecution Service lawyer outlined how the scene was examined by a forensic engineer who attributed the accident to an impact which occurred when the Fiat Tipo being driven by Dr Haynes, who was on his way to Craigavon Area Hospital, crossed the central line by 30 centimetres on a left hand bend.

Defence counsel Andrew Moriarity said Dr Haynes, who also coaches children’s athletics, “is a very giving, decent human being,” adding that the accident and its tragic consequences “is something that haunts him quite frankly.”

He said that Dr Haynes had pleaded guilty on the basis of the forensic findings, conceding that having read through the evidence, reports and findings, “the phrase that came to my own mind was there but for the grace of God.”

Sentencing Dr Haynes, DJ Watters told the court that had the case involved more than a momentary lapse of attention, “he would have been facing a different charge in a different venue” but that as it stood “culpability isn’t huge in this case.”

She said that had the consultant's car crossed the central line “a few second before or a few seconds afterwards, we would not be here so there’s a lot of bad luck involved as well.”

Imposing the fine, year long driving ban and a £15 offender levy, the judge said conceded the sentence “doesn’t sort anything for anybody but at the end of the day we have to recognise that this was a piece of momentary inattention.”