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Three year ban for Armagh man who had ‘a few drinks’ after round of golf with friend

An Armagh man has been handed a three year ban for his second drink driving related offence in 10 years.

Court heard the 52-year-old had taken a “chance” according to his barrister after drinking following a round of golf at a local club.

Geoffrey Thomas Gray, of Outlack Road, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at the City’s Magistrates’ on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on September 22, at 4.35pm, police on patrol of the Markethill area had reason to stop the defendant driving a Ford Focus on the Gosford Road.

Upon speaking to Gray officers noted a that he smelled strongly of alcohol.

A preliminary breath test was carried out resulting in a fail and the defendant was subsequently arrested.

Whilst at Banbridge Custody Suite, an evidential sample of breath was taken giving a reading of 81mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence barrister Conor Coulter stated: “This was a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity; the difficulty is that Mr Gray, on April 5 of 2016, was convicted of a similar offence.

“Your worship will be aware that the defendant spent four days in custody after he made concerning comments to police regarding his mental health.”

He continued: “This has been a significant time of personal turmoil for Mr Gray; his marriage has broken down and he has been forced to sell the family home and farm.

“He instructs that he had been invited out to play golf with a friend at the Tandragee Golf Club, he had a few drinks afterwards, and took a chance driving home”.

District Judge Paul Copeland commented: “This offence in 2016 is within the 10 year period which triggers the mandatory three year disqualification”.

Gray was disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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