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Disqualified driver found over limit after crashing into field to appeal against jail sentence

The district judge remarked: 'He breached a court order with every other possible offence thrown in there too'

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A man who ended up in a field after drink driving after being disqualified for a similar offence is to appeal a five month prison sentence.

Sentencing the 33-year-old, the district judge said: “He breached a court order with every other possible offence thrown in there too.”

Kevin Dale, of Roes Hill in Lawrencetown, appeared for sentencing on driving with excess alcohol, aggravated vehicle taking and causing damage, driving whilst disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance and possession of a Class C drug at Craigavon Magistrates’, sitting at Lisburn, on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on July 4, police received a report of a one vehicle collision in the vicinity of Drumnacanvy Road, Portadown.

Officers arrived to observe a Vauxhall Zafira in a field. They approached and found the defendant in the driver seat of the vehicle.

It was noted that Dale’s speech was slurred and he smelled of intoxicating liquor. A preliminary breath test was subsequently carried out resulting in a fail.

Inquiries by police revealed that the defendant was a disqualified driver and that he did not have permission from the owner to have the vehicle.

Dale was arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, and whilst here an evidential sample of breath was obtained which gave a reading of 60mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

During a search of the defendant, police also seized seven temazapam tablets found in his possession.

When interviewed, Dale made full admissions to all of the offences before the court.

Defence barrister Kevin O’Hare stated: “This is a serious matter, particularly in the context of Mr Dale’s record which is not particularly impressive.”

He submitted that the defendant was engaging well with a probation order which had been put in place back in January, with probation seeing this offence as “a blip or an anomaly”.

District Judge Rosie Watters commented: “They may think that but I am not so sure about that.”

Mr O’Hare stated: “He is dealing with his issues. He instructs that he has been abstinent since the date of these offences. He has been attending AA meetings and doing all he can to stay out of trouble.”

District Judge Watters said: “He was driving whilst disqualified. Not only that but he was also doing it whilst doing the exact same thing that got him disqualified.

“He breached a court order with every other possible offence thrown in there too.”

Dale was disqualified from driving for five years and was sentenced to prison for five months.

Mr O’Hare made it know that he wished to fix bail to appeal.

District Judge Watters instructed that this would happen on Monday, when Dale would present himself to the court.

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