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Markethill drink driver caught after police watched car swerve over white lines

15-month ban imposed due to defendant's 'record and reading'

A Markethill man with a history of drink driving offences has been disqualified for 15 months after being caught again.

Court heard the 42-year-old’s last offence dated back to 17 years ago.

Leroy Samuel Mawhinney, of Pinley Green, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on July 22 at around 1.15am police spotted a Hyundai Tuscan leaving the car park of Sally McNally’s restaurant, Portadown.

Officers watched as the car swerved over the white lines on the Markethill Road.

The driver of the vehicle identified himself as the defendant.

Police noted a strong smell of intoxicating liquor and submitted to a preliminary breath test which he failed.

He was arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where a reading of 101mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was obtained.

Defence counsel stated Mawhinney offered “no excuse or explanation”; had been coming from his girlfriend’s house and would have normally stayed.

However, he continued, “for some reason he decided to drive home”.

Court heard that the defendant had struggled with his mental health and regularly took his elderly parents to hospital appointments.

Defence counsel asked that credit was given for Mawhinney’s early plea and that his last offence occurred some 17 years ago.

District Judge Bernie Kelly banned the defendant from driving for 15 months saying this was due to his “record and reading”.

In addition, Mawhinney was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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