Police saw man ‘staggering’ towards vehicle but he said he had no intention of driving and was only charging nebuliser

POLICE saw a man “staggering” towards a vehicle at Waterfoot and a court has heard prosecutors accepted he had no intention of driving but was instead charging a nebuliser.

Paul Conor Murphy (26) appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of breath to police.

He had originally been accused of being in charge of a vehicle at Garron Road whilst being unfit but that count was withdrawn by prosecutors.

A charge of obstructing a police officer was withdrawn for a caution.

A prosecutor said police were on patrol in the Waterfoot area on May 19 this year when they saw the defendant “staggering” towards a vehicle which he got into and switched on the ignition.

Police asked him to step out of the vehicle and he refused to provide a specimen of breath.

A subsequent reading showed the defendant was slightly over the alcohol in breath limit.

He told police he had no intention of driving.

A defence lawyer said the defendant, of Cardigan Drive in Belfast, suffered from cystic fibrosis and had gone to the vehicle to charge a nebuliser.

District Judge Peter King said the prosecution accepted the defendant had no intention of driving but instead was charging the nebuliser.

The defendant was given four penalty points and fined £120.

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