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Man crashed partner’s courtesy car and left scene to make his own way to hospital

Defence said: 'He has offered no reasonable explanation, simply the keys were there and he drove'

Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry

A Newry man who took his partner’s car whilst under the influence and crashed it, left the scene to attend a nearby hospital, a court has heard.

Court heard that police attended Daisy Hill Hospital to find the 41-year-old after blood was seen both inside and outside the vehicle.

John Ward, of Springfarm Heights, pleaded guilty to driving whilst unfit, aggravated taking and causing damage to a vehicle, no driving licence, no insurance, failing to provide a preliminary specimen and failing to provide a specimen for driving whilst unfit at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on January 10, at 4.20am, police received a report of a small white car which had been abandoned on Martins Lane in Newry.

Officers arrived to find the car was significantly damaged, the airbags had been deployed and there was blood both inside and outside the vehicle.

Police went to nearby Daisy Hill Hospital. They were informed by staff there that the defendant had attended with a head injury and had been bleeding.

Whilst there, Ward refused to give police blood or breath samples for alcohol tests to take place.

At 5.20am, police received a call from the defendant’s partner who reported here courtesy car had been taken from her home in Warrenpoint.

Police later arrested the defendant who gave a sample of breath which gave a reading of 0mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

A sample of blood could not be taken from Ward as the medical officer was not present and when requested to provide urine the defendant refused.

At 8pm, Ward was interviewed and admitted all offences.

Defence counsel stated: “He has offered no reasonable explanation, simply the keys were there and he drove.”

Ward was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 12 months and disqualified from driving for 18 months.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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