A Castledawson mum has been banned from driving for 16 months after putting a curse on police who caught her drink-driving at Drum Manor Forest Park.
Teresa Codona, of Hillhead Cottages in the town, repeatedly told the officers who arrested her “may you live to see your children die” adding “and that is a true Gypsy curse”.
The 41-year-old mother of four was pulled over by PSNI at around 2.45am when they saw a red transit van reversing into the road near Drum Manor Forest Park, Cookstown before swerving to the left and then to the right.
The court heard that when police stopped the defendant they could smell alcohol on her breath and that her words were slurred when she spoke.
Codona then tested “positive for excess alcohol” in her breath at the scene.
When arrested she was then said to have “become extremely irate and aggressive” striking out at police officers twice.
....may you live to see your children die
Before placing the curse on officers, the court heard how she told them “I was trying to save lives”.
She then added aggressively “do not touch me, do not touch me” after which she was arrested and placed in handcuffs.
A later blood alcohol test provided a lower reading of 88mg per 100 millilitres of blood.
In her defence, counsel told the court Codona’s 17-year-old son had a liver transplant some years ago, leaving him significantly ill and needing to attend weekly hospital appointments locally and monthly in Belfast - which she takes him to.
But her lawyer did accept that the letter about her son’s illness was quite dated.
The court then heard that, by way of explanation for Codona’s actions, the mother-of-four said she “went to close the gates [to Drum Manor Forest Park] as there were a number of young males driving aggressively” around the forest park at the time, and she wanted to stop them.
After hearing the case, District Judge John Meehan, fined the defendant a total of £215 - including a £15 offender’s levy - and disqualified her from driving for 16 months, after which she must retake her driving test before being allowed back on the road.
He did however add that Codona could have a 25 per cent reduction in her driving ban if she completed a drink driving course.