A woman who tried to make off after colliding with a wall driving whilst unfit has been handed a 12 month disqualification.
Sentencing the 30-year-old, the district judge commented: “There are testaments here which show that this was completely out of character and she is at pains to understand why she behaved in this way.”
Karen Farrell, of Lissize Avenue, had pleas of guilty entered to driving whilst unfit, failing to stop and failing to report an accident at Newry Magistrates’ Court..
Prosecution outlined that on September 26, at 11.30pm, police received a report of a one vehicle collision, in which a Fiat 500 had hit a wall, on the Rathfriland Road in Newry.
A witness spoke to the female driver, who was later identified as the defendant, and believed her to be under the influence.
They went to inform the owner of the wall regarding the collision, whilst Farrell continued to turn the ignition of the car.
The car did eventually start but the witness was able to stop it from moving before getting the defendant to put down her window so that he could take the keys.
Farrell was verbally abusive and began to move herself into the passenger seat of the vehicle.
Upon arrival, police noted that the defendant smelled of intoxicating liquor, had slurred speech and appeared confused.
She was arrested and taken into custody. During interview Farrell claimed that another male had been driving the car when it crashed and that he had made off.
Defence barrister Stephen Campbell explained that his client had been at a local bar but being from Rathfriland had made arrangements to stay in Newry.
He commented: “She is at a loss to understand why she took the decision to drive. She holds her hands up.”
District Judge Eamonn King stated: “There are testaments here which show that this was completely out of character and she is at pains to understand why she behaved in this way.”
Farrell was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £450, along with the offender’s levy of £15.
The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see her ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.