Ballymena Court hears man who suffers from PTSD after being shot in Massereene army barracks attack has been detected drink driving

A MAN who suffers from PTSD after being shot in the Massereene army barracks attack has been detected drink driving, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told this week.

Marcin Wietrzynski (42) had the alcohol offence detected in Larne town centre at 3.30am on April 4 this year, the court heard.

A prosecutor said police had circulated details about a possible drink driver and officers then spotted the vehicle in Larne.

When the PSNI followed the car and signaled for it to pull over the defendant said he had a “couple of beers”.

A preliminary test at the scene gave a reading of 105 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – three times the legal limit of 35. A later evidential sample at Antrim Police Station showed a reading of 65 in breath.

A defence solicitor told the court via video link the defendant was with him in his office.

The lawyer said the defendant “had an argument” and had gone to Larne to see friends but on the way he stopped and had drink in his car.

The lawyer said the defendant suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder “as in 2009 he was shot at Massereene Barracks, I am sure you Worship will be aware of the attack on that day. He has instructed that since then he has suffered from PTSD and has been unable to work”

Previously the defendant had always worked, the solicitor said.

The lawyer said the defendant couldn’t offer any logical explanation as to why he stopped the car and decided to drink.

“He is a man who has his difficulties due to a previous incident”.

The solicitor said the defendant’s background “doesn’t explain or excuse any of his actions but it gives background to where he is in life”.

The lawyer said the alcohol reading in the police station wasn’t “the highest reading”.

The defendant pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in breath and the solicitor asked the court to take into account the defendant’s “quite complex background” and “previous good record”.

The defendant was banned from driving for a year and fined £200.

In March 2009 dissident republicans killed two soldiers at the gates of Massereene Barracks, in Antrim, as they collected a pizza order.

Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar, of 38 Engineering Regiment, were preparing to leave for Afghanistan when they were shot by Real IRA gunmen.

Four other men were shot in the attack, two soldiers and two delivery men.

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