Maghera man’s 21st birthday celebrations end with road crash


An apprentice joiner whose car collided with a telegraph pole on his way home from celebrating his 21st birthday, has lost his licence for 18 months.

Ciaran McCloy, of Ballymacilcurr Road, Maghera, was also fined a total £340 for driving while having consumed excess alcohol, careless driving, failing to report and failing to remain at the scene of the accident on the Hillhead Road, Castledawson.

The court heard that police received a report of an accident at 6.30am on July 17 and, on arrival, observed a car in the middle of the road blocking both lanes.

A prosecuting lawyer said the vehicle had sustained frontal damage after colliding with a telegraph pole but despite a search of the area the driver could not be found.

She said a check of the registration showed the defendant was the registered owner and was located at his address. McCloy failed a preliminary breath test and was conveyed to Dungannon, where a reading of 87mg was obtained.

Admitting the offences, Joe Mallon, solicitor, said the defendant had been out for the night with friends celebrating his 21st birthday and, “very unfortunately” decided to leave friends home.

Mr Mallon explained that on his way back home the defendant believes something happened to his wheel which caused him to lose control and collide with the telegraph pole.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Alan White told McCloy he was twice the legal the limit. Mr White certified the defendant suitable for the drink-drinking rehabilitation course, which may entitle him to a reduction in the period of disqualification.