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Man caused accident driving with cocaine, morphine and diazepam in his system

Court was told defendant had swerved to avoid a puddle and the injured party ended up on a grass verge while he himself hit a wall

Armagh Courthouse

A Portadown man collided with another car whilst he was driving with a number of drugs in his system including cocaine and diazepam.

The 39-year-old’s barrister told court: “The cocaine was a residual amount. As there is no limit a nominal amount could affect his driving but the diazepam was at a much higher level.”

John Ross Ewing, of Baltylum Meadows, appeared for sentencing for driving when unfit and driving without due care or attention at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that at 5.45pm on November 9, 2018, police received a report of a two vehicle collision on the Mullaghbrack Road, Markethill.

The defendant, who had been driving in the direction of Portadown, had swerved to avoid a puddle and collided with the injured party’s car.

The injured party had ended up on a grass verge and Ewing collided with a wall.

After being suspected of being under the influence of drugs, a sample of blood was taken from the defendant.

He attended Banbridge police station, where he gave a no comment interview.

The toxicology report revealed Ewing had cocaine, codeine, morphine, diazepam and temazepam, among other substances, in his system.

Defence barrister Scott McWhinney stated: “Mr Ewing finds himself in a difficult position. He put himself and others at risk. He drove after taking his medication, the diazepam, and thought he was OK to drive.

“The cocaine was a residual amount. As there is no limit a nominal amount could affect his driving but the diazepam was at a much higher level.”

He added: “Mr Ewing has six points on his licence and he is aware of the inevitability. Pretty much all his credit has evaporated as this was a plea on the day of contest.”

Ewing was disqualified for two years and was ordered to pay a fine of £250, along with the offender’s levy of £15 within 16 weeks.

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