Drunk driver collided with two vehicles in Cookstown

A drunk driver who endangered a number of people when she collided with vehicles in Cookstown was given a one-month suspended jail sentence at East Tyrone Magistrates Court, sitting in Dungannon, on Friday.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 11:53 am

Fifty-three-year-old Jacqueline McCormack from Limekiln Lane, Cookstown, was also fined £150 and banned from driving for three and half years for driving while having consumed excess alcohol.

McCormack, a single mother of one, was fined a further £300 with a £15 offender levy for failing to stop, failing to report and failing to remain in two damage only collisions on July 29 last year.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Michael Ranaghan told McCormack, who appeared by video link from her solicitor’s office, that she had endangered lots of people and caused damage while driving drunk in the streets of Cookstown.

Mr Ranaghan said the offences just passed the threshold for imprisonment.

He imposed a one-month prison sentence which he suspended for one year.

The court heard the defendant, who was driving a BMW, collided with a lorry on Moneymore Road and drove off towards the town centre where it collided with other vehicles before it was stopped by the police.

A prosecuting lawyer said an eye-witness came out of their house and ran along the road waving their arms in the air in a effort to get McCormack to stop.

Counsel said when spoken to by police the defendant appeared confused and provided a breath specimen which showed an alcohol reading of 77mgs - the legal limit is 35.

She later told police she had a few drinks and sleeping medication and had no recollection of the incidents.

Admitting the offences on behalf of his client, defence lawyer Blaine Nugent said the defendant had a previous matter for excess alcohol less than ten years ago.

Mr Nugent explained that McCormack has struggled with alcohol over the years and had attended AA meetings in the past.

He said the defendant had received a diagnosis and disclosure about her 16-year-old daughter which had caused her to go back to drinking.

She is a lady who suffers from anxiety and depression and wished to apologise for her actions on this occasion, said Mr Nugent.

The lawyer pointed out that she was insured and all the damage caused to the vehicles would be fully covered.

He pleaded with the court to treat her leniently given her early guilty plea.

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