Police struggled to rouse drink drive farmer who had ‘not previously slept during lambing season’

AN over the limit farmer who police struggled to stir after being discovered slumped over in a parked car in the early hours said he had only two pints of Harp in a pub but had not eaten or slept the previous night as he been busy lambing.

Stephen Patrick Ciaran Murphy (41), of Churchfield Road near Ballycastle, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday and admitted a charge of driving with excess alcohol at Churchfield Road on March 29, 2016 – Easter Tuesday.

A prosecutor said that at 2.25am on the date in question police saw a vehicle parked at Churchfield Road and found the defendant slumped over.

The dash lights were still on and the defendant appeared to be asleep and despite knocking on the window he failed to stir.

Even when officers opened the door and called out several times it took some time to rouse the defendant.

An evidential test showed he had an alcohol in breath reading of 84 with the legal limit being 35.

The court heard the defendant told police he had two pints of Harp in a pub and he admitted driving to the scene.

He said he had nothing to eat and had been busy sheep farming at the time and had no sleep the previous night.

The defendant told the court: “I confess, I’m holding my hands up, I will do whatever”.

He told the court losing his licence would have a “very big impact” on him.

The court heard the defendant had a related conviction at Ballymena Court in 2010 which meant the minimum ban for two such offences within ten years was three years.

He was also fined £250 at Coleraine Court.

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