FORMER Ulster Unionst Party security spokesman Lord Ken Maginnis has dropped plans to appeal his conviction over a road rage incident.
However, the House of Lords peer still maintains he is innocent of the conviction.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Lord Maginnis said: “I firmly believe and maintain I have been the victim of a grossly unfair and unnecessary prosecution.
“However, on the advice of my lawyers, I have decided not to proceed with my appeal which, however justified, will only serve to highlight a case that has already received disproportionate attention and has become a distraction to my work which has always been in total support of the proper and fair administration of justice.
“Although I had been prepared to go to prison rather than pay any fine, an anonymous benefactor has insisted on discharging the financial penalty in recognition of ‘… your many years in support of justice, the police and the courts’.”
In August, he was found guilty of assaulting a man in a road rage incident.
Lord Ken Maginnis, a former Major in the Ulster Defence Regiment, admitted swearing at his victim Keith Kirk calling him a ‘yellow bellied bastard’ during a roadside row last year.
But the 75-year-old peer strenuously denied grabbing him and raising his fist.
However, the judge found him guilty of an “angry and abusive tirade”.
As a result, he was fined £200 and ordered to pay his victim the same amount.
District Judge John Meehan said Lord Maginnis’ tirade left Mr Kirk very frightened and his sister, who had been in the passenger seat, “terrified”.
He said it was very sad that “a man who has given many years of the highest public service” should find himself in this position at his age in life.
Following his conviction, a bullish Lord Maginnis says he would appeal the conviction to the county court to have it overturned.
However, he has now dropped those plans.