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Armagh man caught drink driving twice in space of three days

An Armagh who was caught drink driving twice in the space of three days has been banned from the road for three years.

Court heard the 60-year-old had one previous similar offence dating back to 1999 but had never re-sat his test.

Mark Anthony Gibney, of Moore Island Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of driving with excess alcohol, using a vehicle without insurance and not having a licence at the city’s Magistrates’ on Tuesday.

It was heard the police were called to a road traffic collision on the Moy Road, Armagh, on August 12 at around 6.15pm.

The person who contacted police said Gibney had driven into the back of her vehicle.

She stated he had accepted blame, even giving her his name, but that she noted that he smelt of intoxicating liquor.

The defendant then made off.

Officer’s attended Gibney’s home where they spoke to the defendant who accepted causing the accident.

He was submitted to a preliminary breath test at 6.36pm which he failed.

Gibney was subsequently taken to Dungannon Custody Suite where he provided an evidential sample of 92mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Police checks showed that the defendant was not insured for the vehicle and did not hold a valid licence.

The second offence occurred on August 14 when staff at Lidl, on the Moy Road, contacted the police as they saw Gibney purchase alcohol from the store before driving off.

They told officers that the defendant appeared unsteady on his feet.

Once more a preliminary test was failed by Gibney and an evidential sample was taken which showed him to have 92mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

During interview, the defendant said that he had been drinking on that day between 10.30am and 1pm.

He claimed that he had gone to the Lidl store to purchase more alcohol.

Defence solicitor Peter Murphy informed the court that the car, which was a DLA vehicle, had been taken off the defendant.

He stated that just two weeks prior to these incidents Gibney had found his father-in-law dead in a field after his tractor struck a tree.

Mr Murphy said that during the time of these offences his client had been left home alone as the rest of the family went on a pilgrimage.

During this period the solicitor claimed Gibney had turned to alcohol.

Mr Murphy stated the first incident had been a case of the defendant “rolling into the back” of the car in front and had caused no damage.

He added that Gibney was “aware of the lengthy time off the road he faces and fears the prospect of prison”.

Court heard the defendant had spent some time in custody on remand whilst awaiting his families return from their trip to obtain bail.

District Judge Paul Copeland stated: “The court takes a view on persistent drink driving and I must warn you that repeated behaviour could well see you sent to prison”.

Gibney was handed a three-year driving ban and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with two sets of offenders’ levies of £15.

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