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Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 05:54 GMT 06:54 UK
Anger at driving conviction error
Mr McWilliams produced his driving licence at the police station
Mr McWilliams produced his driving licence at the police station
A Millisle man is waiting for his name to be cleared after mistakenly being convicted of driving offences.

Adrian McWilliams was convicted in his absence of driving without insurance or a licence. He got a six-month driving ban and was fined a total of 350.

He only heard about the conviction when the court report appeared in a paper.

An order cancelling the conviction is now pending. The Police Ombudsman's office has asked for an explanation. The police are looking into the facts.

The mistake occurred after Mr McWilliams was stopped at a police checkpoint in Millisle, County Down, in September last year and asked for his driving documents.

Mr McWilliams, who has been driving for 27 years, subsequently produced them at a police station, but a few months later received a court summons.

The police apologised to him for the mistake and Mr McWilliams thought the matter was closed.

However, last month he was convicted in his absence of motoring offences and banned from driving for six months.

You can imagine this was a total surprise to m
Adrian McWilliams

He only learned of the conviction when a friend read a newspaper article.

Mr McWilliams, who has a clean licence, is allowed to drive pending the rescindment of the conviction.

However, he said the episode has been extremely stressful for him and his family.

"I was very angry. You can imagine this was a total surprise to me and I have been driving about and people are looking at me," he said.

"It is very embarrassing. It will be sorted out when I get it in black and white."

In a statement, the Police Ombudsman's office said it had investigated the case.

It said it had established that the police were taking steps to ensure the conviction was set aside as soon as possible and has asked them to provide an explanation.

The statement added that the Ombudsman's office was continuing to liaise with the police so that any lessons from the case could be used to help prevent it happening again.

The police said they were looking into the facts and steps would be taken to rectify the matter.

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