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Man who denied drink-driving but was contradicted by CCTV handed jail term

CCTV filling station

A Banbridge man who was “clearly under the influence” when he hit the kerb with his car has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Kenneth George Doolan, 33, of Chinauley Park appeared before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from Maghaberry, on Friday for sentencing.

He was charged with driving with excess alcohol in breath, using a motor vehicle without insurance and driving while disqualified.

Defence solicitor Justin Byrne told the court that the case had previously been adjourned for a pre-sentence report, which the defendant didn’t engage with. He was then “lifted in foot of a warrant.”

The court heard that on January 9 of this year, police received a report of a car “swerving all over the road” and hitting the kerb. Police arrived at a garage in Laurencetown and spoke with two males, one of whom was the defendant.

He was “clearly under the influence”, unsteady on his feet and slurred in speech. He denied that he had been the driver of the car. Police checked the CCTV in the garage, which showed that he had in fact been driving, and Doolan was arrested.

Mr Byrne commented: “He knows that he is facing an immediate custodial sentence given the nature of the charge.”

District Judge Bernie Kelly commented: “The fact that I don’t have any other sentencing options because I don’t have a pre-sentence report, I have no other option but to certify these offences as so serious that there is only one penalty.”

While accounting for his plea of guilty, she imposed a period of three months custody and banned Doolan from driving for three years.

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