Grieving Desertmartin man found drunk in car after visiting mother’s grave

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In what was described as a “sad case” by a defence solicitor, a 43-year-old Desertmartin man was fined £150 and received 10 penalty points for being in charge of a car while having consumed excess alcohol.

The court heard that William Andrew Colgan, from Tobermore Road, was found asleep in a car parked at Main Street in Tobermore on the morning of July 13.

Prosecuting counsel said on speaking to the defendant police noted “the usual signs of intoxication”.

She said the keys were in the defendant’s left hand and there were empty cans of cider in the front of the vehicle.

The barrister added that Colgan was conveyed to Dungannon police station where he provided a breath specimen which showed an alcoholic count of 49mg.

Defence solicitor Stephen Atherton explained the offence had occurred at a difficult time for the defendant who had been grieving the passing of his mother.

Mr Atherton said the defendant had been close to his mother especially around this time of the year and he had sought comfort in alcohol.

He said Colgan had gone in the middle of the night to visit his mother’s grave and had then returned to the car.

Mr Atherton pleaded with the court to accept that the defendant had no intention of driving the vehicle on this occasion. He stressed that Colgan had also fully cooperated with the police officers.

District Judge Alan White said he would not impose a disqualification.