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Drink driver who failed to stop for police given three year ban for second offence

'He was out with his wife, it was her vehicle and she was the one meant to be driving. At some stage it was decided that she was worse for wear and the defendant decided to drive'

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A Newry man who was found to be over the limit after failing to stop for police has been handed a three year disqualification for a second similar offence in three years.

The 29-year-old’s barrister explained: “He was out with his wife, it was her vehicle and she was the one meant to be driving. At some stage it was decided that she was worse for wear and the defendant decided to drive.”

Gerald McShane, of Courtney Hill, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol, using a vehicle without insurance, dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and no driving licence at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined August 8, at 12.30am, police received reports of a suspected drink driver in a Volkswagen Jetta in Newry city centre.

Officers spotted the vehicle, which was last registered to a female, on Green Road in Bessbrook.

They signalled for the car to stop but it failed to do so. Another police vehicle stationed further up that road also followed in pursuit and once more the driver failed to stop when signalled to do so.

The car narrowly missed a constable, who was on foot, before coming to a stop and being boxed in on Father Cullen Park in Bessbrook.

McShane exited from the driver’s side. It was noted that he was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and smelled of intoxicating liquor.

The defendant was arrested and a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting a fail.

Whilst in custody, an evidential sample of breath was obtained giving a reading of 69mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Prosecution revealed that McShane had one relevant entry on his record for excess alcohol from 2017.

Defence barrister Bobbie Rea stated: “The loss of this man’s father had a very strong impact on him and this was not helped by his alcohol problem.

“He was out with his wife, it was her vehicle and she was the one meant to be driving. At some stage it was decided that she was worse for wear and the defendant decided to drive.”

McShane was handed a conditional discharge for 12 months, was disqualified from driving for three years and was ordered to pay a fine of £800, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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