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Suspected drink driver who refused to give breath, blood or urine samples was ‘taking the Michael’

The deputy district judge said: 'I think, as the phrase goes, that he was taking the Michael all the way through this. Since there is no evidence otherwise we have to presume the reading was high'

Craigavon Court

A Craigavon man who failed to give police a sample of breath, blood or urine after being suspected of drink driving has been disqualified for 18 months.

In sentencing the 58-year-old, the deputy district judge stated: “I think, as the phrase goes, that he was taking the Michael all the way through this. Since there is no evidence otherwise we have to presume the reading was high.”

Miles Keena, of Acorn Grove, had pleas of guilty entered to failing to a specimen of breath for a preliminary test and failing to provide an evidential sample at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that the defendant was stopped driving on Francis Street in Lurgan on November 14, of last year, as he was suspected of drink driving.

Upon speaking to Keena, officers noted that his speech was slurred, his eyes were glazed and he smelled of intoxicating liquor.

The defendant admitted to police that he had consumed two ciders. Despite several attempts Keena failed to provide a large enough volume of breath for a preliminary roadside test.

The defendant stated to officers that he had lung cancer and again whilst in custody he failed to provide a sample of breath for an evidential test.

Keena also refused to provide police with a blood or urine sample for testing.

Defence solicitor Peter Murphy confirmed that his client did have lung cancer and “problems with his breathing”.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes commented: “You are not going to tell me he also has an aversion to needles. If that were the case giving his illness he would have died a long time ago.

“I think, as the phrase goes, that he was taking the Michael all the way through this. Since there is no evidence otherwise we have to presume the reading was high.”

Keena was disqualified from driving for 18 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced by one quarter upon completion.

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