Pensioner (87) receives four week driving ban

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An elderly south Derry motorist lost his licence for four weeks when he appeared at Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

Eighty-seven-year-old Francis Shields, of Tobermore Road, Desertmartin, was also fined a total of £100 for failing to provide a specimen for analyst when in charge of a vehicle while unfit, and failing to provide a preliminary breath test.

Counsel prosecuting told the court that at 4.15pm on October 13 last, police were tasked to a broken down vehicle in the Mullagh area of Maghera.

She said the owner of the vehicle, the defendant, was standing beside the vehicle and on speaking to him officers detected a strong smell of intoxicating liquor. The barrister added that Shields failed to provide both the preliminary and substantive tests.

Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin said the defendant had a clear driving record and had been out when his car “got into difficulties.”

Mr Devlin said because of his clear record Shields was unfamiliar with dealing with the police and perhaps this explained his behaviour with regard to the test procedure. He stressed the defendant would now deal differently with the matter.

Mr Devlin said the defendant lived on his own in an isolated area and he pleaded with the court not to impose a lengthy disqualification.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan told Shields he had been foolish and should not have been on the road having consumed alcohol.