Drug addict who overdosed in Ballymena Courthouse on two occasions while waiting for cases to be heard and had to be taken away by ambulance has been back in court for failing to stop for a police officer on a bicycle

Ballymena Courthouse6
Ballymena Courthouse

A drug addict who overdosed on two separate dates inside Ballymena Courthouse and had to be taken away by ambulance has been back for sentencing on charges including driving while disqualified and failing to stop for a police officer who was on a bicycle.

John Kenneth Shields (26), of Condiere Terrace in the village of Connor near Ballymena, committed driving offences in Ballymena town centre in May this year when he struck another vehicle and failed to stop.

A prosecutor said security staff at the Tower Centre said a male who appeared to be under the influence was driving a blue coloured Ford Fiesta.

Police were looking for the vehicle when a report came in that a stationary Volkswagen Golf was struck by a Ford Fiesta in Ballymoney Street, Ballymena.

The prosecutor said a police cyclist signalled for the driver to stop but the direction was not complied with.

Shields’ vehicle was abandoned nearby.

Shields later told police he had no memory of the incident but when presented with evidence he accepted he must have done it.

Defence barrister Michael Smyth said the defendant had a forthcoming appointment with addiction specialists.

Mr Smyth said: “He has twice been taken away from Ballymena Courthouse in an ambulance. He overdosed during the period of time he was waiting to be dealt with, such was the severity of his addiction”.

The lawyer said on the date of the offences before the court, Shields was “intoxicated” and had no memory but that he had originally bought the car to do it up and sell on.

Mr Smyth said Shields wished to apologise for his behaviour and accepts he caused distress to others.

District Judge Nigel Broderick adjourned sentencing until mid-December to see if the defendant was genuinely committed to addressing his addiction and he said if he failed to attend an appointment the likelihood was he would go to jail.

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