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Over limit driver who ran at young people with angle grinder thought it ‘a bit of a laugh at the time’

'During interview, he comments that he did not intend to intimidate them and accepts it all sounds a bit nuts now'

Newry courthouse police

A Newry man who ran at some “young individuals” with an angle grinder after driving whilst over the limit has been fined £500.

The 26-year-old’s barrister told court: “He thought that it was a bit of a laugh at the time, but it was obviously not a laughing matter for these young individuals.”

Ciaran Magee, of Turnavall Road, had pleas of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and disorderly behaviour at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 9, at 8.30pm, police received a report of two males, one of which had been driving, in an intoxicated state on Hill Street in Newry.

The reporting person said they had observed this defendant pushing an Audi vehicle, which had been driving around with its horn constantly deployed.

They alleged that Magee then lifted an electric angle grinder from the vehicle, which he turned on and ran towards them with it in his hands.

Officers arrested the defendant, they seized the angle grinder which was found in the Audi and conducted a preliminary breath test resulting in a fail.

Whilst in custody, an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 71mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – over twice the legal limit.

When interviewed, Magee made genuine full admissions and apologised for his actions.

Defence barrister Conor Byrne stated: “This is strange and out of character. He had gone to move his car, which was the wrong thing to do and he had driven on Hill Street.

“In a joking manner, he had taken the angle grinder which was in his vehicle and ran toward these young individuals. During interview, he comments that he did not intend to intimidate them and accepts it all sounds a bit nuts now.”

He added: “He thought that it was a bit of a laugh at the time, but it was obviously not a laughing matter for these young individuals.”

District Judge Eamonn King disqualified Magee from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

He was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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