Galbally man jailed after being cut from BMW he crashed while drunk

Dungannon Courthouse
Dungannon Courthouse

A Galbally man with “a complete disregard for the community” has been jailed after drunkenly crashing his car into a hedge close to Moy.

Christopher Morris, 21, from Gortlenaghan Road, had to be cut from his car after it left the Drumgrannon Road and collided with a hedge on the evening of September 1 last year.

Handing down a two month prison sentence, District Judge John Meehan called Morris’ actions “an outrage”.

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard how police were called to the scene of an accident a mile outside Moy.

They discovered fire service attempting to cut a male, the defendant, from a BMW in which he was trapped.

The car had left the road on a sweeping bend and was facing in the direction of Dungannon.

A young female passenger was being treated in an ambulance nearby.

Police discovered empty beer bottles in the crashed car and identified the smell of alcohol.

Morris was consequently tested and provided a sample of blood which was almost two and a half times the limit.

He was interviewed by police at the start of October and read a pre-prepared statement which said that he had breaked hard going around a bend in the road, making mention of the damp conditions.

“Alcohol has been a feature in all of his offending,” Mr Karl Mallon, defending, told the court.

“On the day he was driving and visited a bar in Moy. He then made the foolish decision to drive home.

“He is now living in the Manchester area... and is trying to put right the wrongs of the past.

“His attitude towards alcohol has changed and he wishes to put this behind him.”

Judge Meehan doubted the veracity of the defendant’s claims.

“You actually drank before the bar and then drank there and then drove.

“It is an outrage that you would go into the public... drunk to twice the legal limit and more.

“(You) had a female passenger and dramatically leaves the road.

“Arrangements were made to make an appointment with Probation and he was too busy to attend. He displays no remorse or insight. By failing to co-operate you are deemed not to consent to community service.

“You’ve shown no inclination to take responsibility. You are a 21-year-old male who showed complete disregard for the community.”

Judge Meehan then handed down two sentences of two months imprisonment for driving with excess alcohol in blood and dangerous driving.

He ordered that the two sentences run concurrently while also imposing a £25 offender’s levy. He then set bail for appeal at £200.