An Armagh teenager who took his mother’s car without permission and whilst over the limit before crashing it into a lamppost has been banned from driving for two years.
Details of the incident were recounted at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where Lee Morgan, of Mullacreevie Park, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, taking a vehicle without authority and dangerous driving.
The court heard the defendant had been just 18 years of age when the offences were committed on May 27.
It was revealed that, around 1am, police on patrol on Navan Street, saw a Ford Focus pull out of a street without stopping or giving way.
They followed the vehicle and once more saw the car turn onto another street without stopping.
Officers also noted that the vehicle was moving from left to right erratically.
Police watched as the car came at high speed towards them before mounting a footpath, striking a wall and colliding with a lamppost.
The car was left on its side and slid across the street, coming to a stop at the rear of the police vehicle.
Officers spoke to the defendant – who is now aged 19 – and conducted a preliminary roadside breath test, which he failed.
Morgan told police he had no licence or insurance and had taken the car, which belonged to his mother, without permission.
He was subsequently arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where a reading showed 58mgs in 100mls of breath.
The defendant also entered a guilty to plea to another charge of disorderly behaviour which occurred on May 13.
On that occasion, court heard that at 2.30am Morgan walked behind a police car on Loughgall Road, Armagh, and said to officers “suck my d***”.
Police spoke to the defendant, who appeared intoxicated, and when asked what he had said Morgan simply replied, “you heard”.
Court heard the defendant refused to give his full name or date of birth replying with “Lee” and “17” when asked for these details.
Morgan did provide an address which officers escorted him to.
This was the home of his grandfather who took Morgan in with the defendant slamming the door on the police officers’ faces.
The grandfather then reopened the door and as police tried to tell Morgan he was going to be reported he told them “f*** off, I am not speaking to you”.
Defence barrister Seamus Lannon stated the defendant was “deeply ashamed at his conduct” and was “lucky there were no serious injuries”.
He said Morgan’s mother believed the defendant was the case of “another young person who has had his life blighted by an unhealthy relationship with alcohol”.
Morgan appeared before the court with no record and it was heard that he had lost his position in a mechanic course due to his inevitable disqualification from driving.
District Judge Rosie Watters stated: “I hope this is the first and last time you are before this court; you were so lucky there were no serious injuries and I hope you have learned your lesson.”
She added: “It concerns me that both of these were committed in such a short space of time and that they both were involving drinking too much.”
Morgan was handed a two-year driving ban and sentenced to a two-year probation order.
In addition, the defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of £50, along with the offender’s levy of £15.