Coalisland man jailed after driving drunk to break non-molestation order protecting his ex

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A Coalisland man breached a non-molestation order mere hours after it was handed down at court.

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard how the injured party contacted police at 6pm on March 18 stating that 36-year-old Brian O’Hanlon from Meenagh Park was on her property.

She said that he was in breach of a court order that had been handed down earlier that day.

It transpired that the paperwork had not been completed until 11.20pm that night.

However, at 11.45pm police received a 999 call from the same address stating that O’Hanlon was back.

The woman said that he was knocking the door and was trying to open windows on the ground floor.

The injured party said that when he had started rattling the bedroom windows she had been forced to hide inside the house “because of fear” that he would get inside.

Police attended the scene and spotted O’Hanlon in the area driving a van.

They followed him to his residence where they spoke to him and recognised signs of drinking alcohol. He failed a preliminary breath test and was arrested, being brought to Dungannon Police Station where he gave a sample over twice the legal limit.

The court also heard how, on May 27, police discovered O’Hanlon intoxicated at his home and in breach of his bail conditions. He refused to provide a breath sample and resisted police. In the police car he attempted to bite an officer.

“The first episode is the more serious given the context,” said Mr Blaine Nugent, defending. “It will give the court great cause for concern.

“He turned to drink following the handing down of the non-molestation order. This has been a salutary lesson to him.

“He now accepts that the relationship is over... and is going through the proper channels to gain access to his four children.”

He said that the pre-sentence report made “largely positive” reading, accepting only jail was appropriate.

Handing down a sentence of five months in prison, District Judge John Meehan said, “Most stark is the alcohol abuse and driving is the device of his offending behaviour.

“He breached court bail twice. His parents found it impossible to accommodate him.

“For the sake of his former partner, his children, his parents, he needs to stop drinking.”

He also disqualified the defendant from driving for two years.