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Student who refused breath test felt he was being ‘treated unfairly’ by police

A Lurgan man who refused to give a breath sample to police because he felt was given “unfair treatment” has been handed a 12-month driving ban.

Padraig Judge, 22, of Millbrook Court, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath specimen to police in a case of drink driving at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

It was heard that on September 27, at around 3am, police received a report from a member of the public of a vehicle moving erratically on the M1 towards Lurgan.

Officers went to the last registered owner’s address but did not find the vehicle on the driveway.

Later police spotted the car on Millbrook Court and approached the defendant.

They noted Judge appeared intoxicated and submitted him to a preliminary breath test which he failed.

The defendant was taken to Lurgan Custody Suite where he twice failed to provide an adequate breath sample for an evidential reading.

A constable stated Judge was obstructive throughout.

It was heard the defendant would start and stop breathing before a sample was obtained.

Judge even asked police what would happen if he didn’t give one.

Defence barrister Conor Lunny stated: “For one reason or another Mr Judge thought he received unfair treatment and that is why he acted so stubborn”.

He added that the defendant now knew that he must cooperate with police.

Court heard that Judge was entering the final year of his studies in Belfast and needed his licence to travel from Lurgan.

The defendant was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay a fine of £300, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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