An over-the-limit driver who sped off from police who deployed two ‘stingers’ in an attempt to stop him eventually gave himself up because he became “tired and fed up” during the pursuit, it was claimed in court.
Stephen Adams (48), a bricklayer of Elizabeth Gardens in Ballyclare, went on a pre-Christmas driving rampage after police asked him to pull over in the Ballymena area around 10.45pm on Saturday December 15 last year.
At Ballymena Magistrates Court on Thursday he pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop for police and using a vehicle without insurance and MOT.
A prosecutor said police were told a car had been “stolen” from the Lisburn area but it was established it had not been taken.
The car initially pulled over into a lay-by for police but as an officer got out of their vehicle the Ford Focus accelerated away, going along “country roads” at speeds of up to 70mph.
Police followed and another patrol set up a ‘stinger’ but Adams drove around it by going onto a footpath before he stopped just in front of another ‘stinger’ deployed at Nursery Road between Ballymena and Toome.
Adams had a reading of 67 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35mcgs.
When interviewed he said the car was his and that he had earlier drank eight tins of beer and half a bottle of Buckfast.
He told police he was aware he was unfit to drive and wanted to get away from officers when first stopped but said he later gave up trying to escape because he was “tired and fed up”.
A defence lawyer said the defendant had earlier had an argument with his partner and left to go to his son’s house.
“He caught himself on after a time,” and was “ashamed” of his actions, the lawyer said.
Imposing a five months jail term, suspended for two years, along with a two year driving ban and a fine of £100, District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a “very poor piece of driving”.
He said the defendant made off from police and two ‘stingers’ were deployed.
The judge said it was fortunate nobody was injured and no damage caused.