A ‘reckless’ Dungannon driver has been given a suspended jail sentence of three months after being caught by police reversing his car away from a collision whilst drunk and using his mobile phone.
Konrad Wijata, 31, from Irish Street, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, accused of drink-driving, using a mobile phone whilst driving, aggravated taking a vehicle without consent, careless driving, and driving without insurance and an accompanied qualified driver.
Police arrested the defendant after coming across a road traffic collision at the Ranfurly Road, Dungannon shortly before midnight on Boxing Day last year.
The court was told they observed the defendant reversing from the other crashed vehicle, whilst using his mobile phone. He later tested positive for alcohol with a reading of 66mcg.
Wijata told police he had been visiting his sick child at the home of his estranged partner, and rather than stay the night, he had taken his partner’s car keys and attempted to drive home.
When the defending solicitor was asked by Judge John Meehan to explain how Wijata’s relationship difficulties caused the collision, the solicitor said that the defendant had been feeling depressed and took the car keys to alleviate his symptoms.
Judge Meehan accused Wijata of carelessly indulging himself and of being reckless. “You decided to steal your partner’s car and go joy-riding, and like many joy-riders you crashed the vehicle.”