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Man left with multiple injuries after drink driving incident given ‘opportunity’ to stay out of trouble

The district judge remarked: 'This is his eighth driving whilst disqualified. Not only that he was driving whilst disqualified whilst over the limit and caused an accident'

Court drink driving Craigavon

An Aghalee man with an “atrocious record” who was left with multiple injuries after a drink driving incident has been given the “opportunity” to stay out of trouble.

Adjourning the sentencing of the 36-year-old, the district judge said:  “He was the one who was injured but others could have been injured. I ought to be sending him to prison today but I am not a person without some sort of sympathy.”

Paul McClean, of Hollybrook, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care or attention, no vehicle test certificate, using a vehicle without insurance and driving whilst disqualified at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Lisburn, on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on August 19, of last year, police received a report of a road traffic collision involving an injury on the Cornakinnegar Road, Lurgan.

Officers attended and found that this defendant had been knocked off his motorbike as a result of the collision.

Officers recorded accounts for witnesses who claimed that McClean had been driving in a careless manner prior to the collision.

The defendant was taken to the rear of an ambulance for treatment to injuries. Whilst here he told police that he had been drinking prior to getting on the motorbike.

A preliminary breath test could not be carried out at the time, due to McClean’s injuries, but a sample of blood was taken whilst he was in hospital which gave a reading of 99mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – the limit being 80mg.

The defendant was later interviewed and made full admissions to all of the offences.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “I would ask your worship to take quite an exceptional approach. He was overly candid to a fault with police. He accepted drinking until eight in the morning before getting on the bike.

“The consequences of this have been far more than this court is used to hearing. First in hospital he was treated for broken ribs, a broken shoulder and a broken collarbone, then there was infection and he is still dealing with issues.”

He added: “One would have hoped that he has learned his lesson from the injuries that he suffered as a result.”

District Judge Rosie Watters stated: “He has an atrocious record. This is his eighth driving whilst disqualified. Not only that he was driving whilst disqualified whilst over the limit and caused an accident.

“He was the one who was injured but others could have been injured. I ought to be sending him to prison today but I am not a person without some sort of sympathy.”

She added: “I hope that this has taught you a salutary lesson. I am going to defer sentencing to give you the opportunity to stay out of trouble.”

Sentencing in the case was adjourned until August 5 of next year.

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