Drink driver detected doing ‘slow speed’ after watching televised GAA match in pub

Ballymena Court

A MAN who took a family member’s vehicle without permission to go to a pub to watch a GAA match was later caught over-the-limit when he had driven at a “slow speed”.

John Brendan Carey (65), of Corkey Road, Loughgiel, admitted a number of offences and has been warned that if he commits a similar offence before he is sentenced next spring he faces an eight months prison term.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, District Judge Peter King said the defendant, who is currently banned from getting behind the wheel until 2024 in connection with previous offences, will also receive at least a seven year driving ban next March.

The defendant admitted driving whilst disqualified; using a Volkswagen Passat at Cushendall Road, Ballycastle; taking the vehicle without the consent of the owner and driving whilst unfit in relation to March 1 this year.

Defence barrister Alan Stewart said the defendant had a “poor record”.

Mr Stewart said the defendant had suspended sentences in the past and said health difficulties would rule out Community Service.

He said the defendant made “full and frank admissions”.

Mr Stewart said it seemed the defendant had an “argument” with some family members as he “wanted to go out to watch a GAA match and he took a car that belonged to a member of the family without their permission”.

The lawyer said the defendant watched the match in a bar and had some drink and was then detected driving at a “slow speed”.

He said the first appearance in the case was before lockdown in March.

Mr Stewart asked for a deferral to see if the defendant could stay out of trouble.

District Judge Peter King deferred the matter to March 1 next year but warned if there was any relevant re-offending a three months suspended sentence would be activated and added to a new five months sentence meaning a total prison term of eight months.

He added: “Either way there will be a disqualification of at least seven years when I come to deal with it in March”.

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