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Richhill man caught over limit in mother’s car gets three year ban for second offence in 10 years

The district judge remarked: 'He needs to learn that when he does something he has to accept responsibility for it'

A Richhill man who was caught over the limit after failing to report an accident in which he was driving his mother’s car has been handed a three year ban for his second offence in 10 years.

The 29-year-old’s barrister told court: “Thankfully it was only a minor glance, clearly he knew he was over the limit, he knew he shouldn’t have been in the car and he panicked.”

Ryan Metcalfe, of Sleepy Valley Court, had pleas of guilty entered to seven charges at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

The defendant was charged with driving with excess alcohol, taking a vehicle without authority, no driving licence, using a vehicle without insurance, failing to stop, failing to remain and failing to report.

Prosecution outlined that on June 20, police received a report of a hit and run incident in the car park of Fruitfield on the Portadown Road, Richhill.

It was reported that a Ford Focus had collided with a stationary Skoda Octavia, before making off.

Officers attended the home of the last registered owner. They spoke to this individual who stated that her son – the defendant – had been driving the car without permission and that he was not insured.

A preliminary breath test was conducted on Metcalfe which resulted in a fail and an evidential sample obtained in custody gave a reading of 62mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence barrister Bobbie Rea stated: “Unfortunately, he has one matter of nine year vintage but this still falls under the 10 year statuary which requires the minimum three year ban.

“There is no excuse. His mother had asked him to get some groceries. He forgot and unfortunately took his mother’s vehicle.”

He continued: “Thankfully it was only a minor glance, clearly he knew he was over the limit, he knew he shouldn’t have been in the car and he panicked.”

District Judge Eamonn King stated: “This issue is the same as it was on his last time up in court in 2012. He needs to learn that when he does something he has to accept responsibility for it.”

Metcalfe was disqualified from driving for three years, handed a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £600, 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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