Over the limit mobility scooter driver ‘weaving along the road’

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The driver of a mobility scooter spotted weaving along the road erratically, has lost his licence for three years.

David Stewart Paul (59), of Curragh Road, Maghera, was also given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Paul admitted driving while unfit due to drink, driving while disqualified and with no insurance, and having no driving licence.

Magherafelt Magistrates Court heard concerned members of the public came to the defendant’s assistance in Magherafelt on June 14.

A prosecuting lawyer said the incident happened at approximately 11.45am and, on arrival, police were told that defendant had smelled of intoxicating liquor.

He said police called at the defendant’s address and found the mobility scooter, which was damaged at the front and had mud on the sides of its wheels.

Counsel said Paul was staggering and spoke to police in broken sentences.

He was taken into custody and provided a breath specimen, which showed an alcohol reading of 114mgs.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan remarked that defendant had a previous conviction for driving while unfit.

A defence barrister described it as “a very strange case.” He claimed Paul did not realise that the mobility scooter was classed as a motor vehicle as its maximum speed was eight miles per hour.

“He should not have been driving this in the condition he was in,” said the lawyer.

“It was 11.30am and members of the public became concerned about him.”

The lawyer explained three members of the public stopped him as he was leaning sideways on the scooter.

He said the members of the public should be acknowledged for the concern they showed and help they offered to the defendant on this occasion.

“This is a person who needs our help and sympathy rather than punishment,” he added.

Judge Mullan said because of the previous conviction she would have to impose a three-year disqualification.

She told defendant not to be driving during his period of disqualification, or she would have no alternative but to send him to jail.

The judge said she would not impose any financial penalties.