Man jailed over girlfriend's death in Antrim car accident

Tuesday 17 June 2014 19.13
Colin Balmer was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court
Colin Balmer was sentenced at Antrim Crown Court

A former disqualified driver who admitted driving "a wee bit too fast" when he crashed his car killing his new girlfriend has been jailed for six months for causing her death.

Antrim Crown Court heard that Ammie Rea, 19, died instantly when she was crushed by the roof of the Peugeot 206 driven by her boyfriend, Asda supermarket security guard Colin Balmer, 24.

Balmer, Ms Rea's boyfriend of three months, was driving when the car skidded off the road, smashed through a fence and hit a tree.

Balmer was driving the couple to the Ballyclare Asda store where they both worked, which was on the Ballymena Road on the outskirts of Doagh village, Co Antrim.

He was driving without insurance and fraudulently using a motor tax disc from another car.

Balmer, from Staffa Drive, Ballymena, pleaded guilty to causing Ms Rea's death by careless driving on 4 December 2011.

Judge Desmond Marrinan said he accepted Balmer had a "deep and genuine remorse for the catastrophe" of causing Ms Rea’s death.

Judge Marrinan said it was clear that Balmer was driving too fast for the road conditions.

The judge also said he was keenly aware of the continued suffering of Ms Rea’s still grieving parents and that a custodial sentence was needed to reflect or compensate them for their grief and distress.