Dungannon drink driver abandoned car

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A pre-sentence report has been ordered for a Dungannon man after he pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Seamus Murphy, 29, from Tullyodonnell Road, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court was told that the charge arose after police discovered the defendant’s car lying broadside in the middle of the Pomeroy Road just before 5am on February 17.

There was extensive damage to the front of the car and to a hedge nearby, however, there were no other cars damaged in the collision.

Police found the car empty, and noted that the airbags had been deployed and that there was a smell of alcohol in the vehicle, as well as a small amount of blood.

When police entered Murphy’s home just after 6am, they found the defendant unsteady on his feet and smelling of alcohol. He failed a subsequent breath test for alcohol.

Police obtained CCTV footage from a bar in Cookstown, which showed the defendant consuming pints of beer and shots of alcohol. However, Murphy told police that he had only consumed two pints of Harp and a little whiskey before drinking blackcurrant juice, and had left the bar because he was tired. After crashing his car, he had walked home where he drank three bottles of Budweiser beer.

Murphy later admitted to the police that he had consumed more alcohol than he had first revealed, but that he had slept it off in his car before driving. Ordering the report, Judge John Meehan said that these were ‘egregious’ drink-driving circumstances with a premeditated decision to leave the scene of the accident.