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Tandragee man who fled after colliding with car whilst under influence handed 15 month ban

The district judge said it was 'only by the grace of God' no one was harmed

Police accident RTC night

A Tandragee man who fled the scene after a drunken collision with another vehicle has been handed a 15 month disqualification.

Sentencing the 20-year-old, the district judge stated that the case had “all the aggravating features” and it was “only by the grace of God” no one was harmed.

Joel William Moorcroft, of Moodage Road, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle without insurance, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol at Newry Magistrates’ Court, via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution told court that on July 14, at 2.40am, police received a report from a member of the public that their vehicle had been struck by an Audi A4 on the Kilkeel Road, Annalong.

They stated that a male had got out of the offending vehicle and made off on foot.

Officers arrived at 2.50am and this defendant, who matched the description given of the driver, was located at the rear of a property on Ulster Avenue.

Moorcroft was arrested and a preliminary breath test conducted at the roadside resulted in a fail.

A subsequent evidential sample obtained in custody gave a reading of 40mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Stating that his client was a “young man who has experienced some turmoil in his lifetime”, defence solicitor Peter Murphy said that the defendant had consumed “very little alcohol” but had left home in a “distressed state”.

District Judge Eamonn King stated that the case had “all the aggravating features” and it was “only by the grace of God” no one was harmed.

Moorcroft was disqualified from driving for 15 months and was ordered to pay a fine of £650, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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