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Man caught over the limit after he had ‘no option’ but to leave ex-partner’s home

A Portadown man who was found driving whilst over the limit after leaving the home of his ex-partner has been handed a 12 month ban.

The 47-year-old’s solicitor told court that he had felt he had “no other option” after his now ex-partner turned “violent” claiming that police had observed injuries to her client.

Andrew Colin Beattie, Annaghmore Road, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry.

Prosecution outlined that on February 28, at around 9.30pm, police received a report that the defendant had driven away from an address in Markethill after consuming alcohol.

Officers stopped Beattie in his Volkswagen Passat on the Battlehill Road, Richhill, and a preliminary breath test was conducted resulting in a fail.

A subsequent evidential sample was obtained at Lurgan Custody Suite which gave a reading of 68mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Defence solicitor Colleen McCreesh claimed that her client had fled his ex-partner’s home after she had turned violent.

She outlined: “Police observed that he had injuries, he felt that he had no other option but to leave, he admits to having drank to police and appeared with no previous convictions.

“He has been a lorry driver with the same company for 18 years, but the inevitable outcome of today’s proceedings will cause him to lose this employment.”

Deputy District Judge Laura Ivers said she noted the “mitigating factors” in the case, as she disqualified Beattie from driving for a period of 12 months and ordered him to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

The defendant was certified for the drink driving course which would see his ban reduced to one of nine months upon completion.

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