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Drink driver took off in car after argument with man in Newry city centre

The district judge told the 33-year-old, who represented himself in court: 'You are entitled to the maximum credit for your guilty plea'

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A Co. Down man who took a car without permission and drove it whilst over the limit without a full licence has been handed a 12 month ban.

The district judge told the 33-year-old, who represented himself in court: “You are entitled to the maximum credit for your guilty plea.”

Stephen Cosgrove, of Glenmor, Mayobridge pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, using a vehicle without insurance, taking a vehicle without authority, not displaying L plates and being an unaccompanied L driver at Newry Magistrates’ on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 22, at 9.45am, police received a report from a male who said he had an argument with the defendant on Francis Street in Newry.

He stated that Cosgrove had then driven off in a vehicle without the permission of the owner.

Officers arrived to find both parties and the vehicle on Francis Street. They spoke to the the defendant who confirmed driving away but stated he later returned.

It was observed that Cosgrove appeared intoxicated and a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.

Checks revealed that the defendant was the holder of a provisional licence, but he was unaccompanied in the vehicle, was not displaying L plates and was not insured.

Whilst in custody, an evidential sample of breath was obtained giving a reading of 72mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Cosgrove made full admissions to the offences when they were put to him during interview.

District Judge Eamonn King told the defendant: “You are entitled to the maximum credit for your guilty plea.”

Cosgrove was handed a conditional discharge for 12 months, disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £410, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

District Judge King certified the defendant for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced by one quarter upon completion.

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