Motorist sped off from police in Magherafelt almost colliding with another vehicle before hitting a kerb

Drink driving charge
Drink driving charge

A motorist sped off from police almost colliding with another vehicle before hitting a kerb and coming to a stop, Magherafelt Magistrates Court was told.

Connla Kevin Scullion, of Meetinghouse Avenue, Maghera, was fined a total of £415 and banned from driving for three and a half years.

Twenty-seven-year-old Scullion admitted charges of dangerous driving, failing to provide a preliminary breath test, failing to stop for police and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

The court heard the incident happened at Rainey Street car park, Magherafelt, on the night of September 27 last year, after police signalled the defendant to stop.

A prosecuting lawyer said the vehicle sped across the central reservation and the impact of it hitting the kerb brought it to a standstill.

She said on speaking to Scullion police officers detected a smell of intoxicating liquor and observed that defendant was unsteady on his feet.

Continuing, counsel said defendant refused to provide a preliminary breath test and he was arrested and taken to Dungannon station, where he refused to provide a sample.

She added that he made no comment during interview.

Defence solicitor Donal McCann accepts the facts outlined by the prosecution and said the defendant had been in a local pub earlier where he had a few drinks.

Mr McCann said defendant had then “foolishly and dangerously” decided to drive his car.

He pointed out that examination of defendant’s record showed that his problems stem from alcohol.

“When he does not drink this is a young man who does not trouble anyone,” said Mr McCann, who explained that the defendant had engaged with the Probation Service in relation to another conviction and had found their advice helpful.

Mr McCann stressed that Scullion was trying to turn his life around and has a job in France in respect of which he has been offered a full-time contract.

He added that the employer had a strict no alcohol rule which the defendant intended to abide.

Imposing the penalties, District Judge Alan White remarked that the defendant has a relevant previous conviction within the past ten years.

He said he would keep the period of disqualification down to three and half years which would mean the defendant having to sit an extended driving test to get his driving licence back.