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Man who ‘needs licence to look after ill father’ told he should not have drank then drove

Defence said: 'This was a case of his mother being in hospital and him jumping in the car, which was uninsured, to go see her'

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A Portadown drink driver’s solicitor told court he needed his licence to look after his ill father who had recently suffered a stroke.

But addressing the 39-year-old’s legal representative, the district judge said: “That’s his responsibility that his father is sick, he knew all of that and should not have taken a drink before he got in a car.”

Kristian Herron, of The Old Golf Links, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on December 19, at 10pm, police were on patrol in the Portadown area. They noted that a Jaguar car appeared to leave upon their arrival on West Street.

Officers followed the car, which had two male occupants on board onto Jervis Street, where it failed to stop at a stop line.

The car carried on into Cecil Street, where is was stopped by police.

Officers identified the driver of the car as the defendant and due to the behaviour a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.

Herron was arrested and taken to Lurgan Custody Suite, where he provided an evidential sample of breath which gave a reading of 56mg in 100ml of breath.

Defence counsel stated: “He co-operated fully with police. He has one previous entry for no insurance. This was a case of his mother being in hospital and him jumping in the car, which was uninsured, to go see her.

“He does need his car, his father is very ill. He recently had a stroke and had two stents put in his heart.”

He added: “I ask your worship to keep the disqualification to the mandatory minimum and consider him for the drink driving course.”

District Judge Amanda Brady stated: “That’s his responsibility that his father is sick, he knew all of that and should not have taken a drink before he got in a car. That’s his problem.”

Herron was disqualified from driving for 12 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

District Judge Brady did certify the defendant for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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