Police were suspicious of vehicle in Ballymena and court hears Belfast man was seeking to ‘buy drugs’

POLICE were suspicious of a vehicle at Braidwater Retail Park in Ballymena on May 5 this year and then the vehicle made off at speed, the town’s Magistrates Court was told.

Damien McKernon (37) admitted charges of driving while disqualified; using a vehicle without insurance and absence of MOT.

A defence lawyer said the defendant is addicted to drugs and that was the “genesis of the problem” as McKernon was “going to buy drugs” on the date in question.

He said the defendant, whose address was listed as Clonavogie Gardens in Belfast, is now off drugs.

At Ballymena Magistrates Court, District Judge Nigel Broderick said the defendant had an “atrocious criminal record” and it was not the first time he had driven whilst disqualified.

“Not without some hestitation,” said the judge, and as a direct alternative to prison, the defendant was ordered to do 150 hours Community Service.

He was also banned from driving for four years and fined £100.

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