Toddler was in car hit by drink driver in Coalisland


A drink driver who crashed into a car with a mother and her three-year-old toddler on board in Coalisland has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Nauris Vilipsons (34) from Ardnaskea Park was given a three month suspended sentence, banned from the road for three years and fined a total of £200 for two counts of assault, failing to provide a specimen, driving with excess alcohol and driving without due care and attention at Kings Row on December 14, last year. Vilipsons was also ordered to pay compensation of £300 and £200 to the two injured parties - the woman and her father.

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard that the injured party’s car was hit from behind at a roundabout. The injured party reported Vilipsons was looking confused, and when he got out he was swaying from side to side.

A prosecuting lawyer said Vilipsons attempted to leave by getting back into the car but the woman tried to apprehend him.

She had her arm twisted when she tried to remove his keys from the ignition to prevent him from driving off. The court heard Vilipsons began to reverse the vehicle with the injured party still attached, and that she had to move out of the way to avoid being hit by the car.

The lawyer also said Vilipsons struck the defendant’s father who turned up and that members of the public tried to apprehend him.

Defence counsel Noel Dillon said Vilipsons, who is from Latvia, had drunk far too much alcohol the night before to be behind the wheel, but that he accepted he was the driver of the vehicle. He said Vilipsons apologies to the injured party.

Imposing the sentence which he suspended for two years, District Judge John Meehan pointed out that the woman had the courage to try to stop a drink driver.

“In the middle of the day, you were unable to stand upright - you were very drunk and you responded violently,” said Mr Meehan. “You had every intention of driving off.”

Vilipsons was also ordered to pay an offender’s levy of £15.