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04 Oct 2022

County Derry man crashed car trying to evade police after five pints

The defendant had originally arranged to get a lift home with the bar man.

County Derry man crashed car trying to evade police after five pints

Magherafelt Magistrates Court.

A County Derry man who crashed while trying to evade police had been visiting his late mother's grave, a court has heard.

Brian Rogers, of Dunmurry Road, Draperstown, entered guilty pleas to charges of driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop for police at Magherafelt Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

A third charge of dangerous driving was contested by the defendant, and having read the facts, Judge Magill said the 'not guilty' plea would result in Rogers losing his licence.

Police had spotted a car on the Five Mile Straight, Draperstown at around 2.00am on June 30 2022. On seeing police, the car stalled while attempting to drive off, before travelling towards Dunmurry Road.

As they followed the vehicle, police travelled at 60mph and noted the defendant continuing to pull away from them amid 'poor visibility, fog and darkness'.

When the defendant approached the turn for Dunmurry Road, police observed the vehicle pull across over to the wrong side of the road without giving any signal.

In attempting to take a sharp bend, the vehicle then crashed into a nearby hedge, with no other vehicles involved in the collision.

A lower breath reading of 65mg of alcohol was obtained from the defendant, who when asked to describe his driving at interview said 'hard, just hard'.

The court heard Rogers did not wish to give evidence, with defence explaining that he had drunk five pints that evening and had originally arranged for the bar man to give him a lift home.

However, the defendant then decided he wished to call at the chapel on the way home to visit the grave of his mother.

He conceded there was 'no excuse' for his behaviour and accepted that he would be losing his driving licence as a result.

Judge Magill said the case met the threshold for dangerous driving; the defendant had been evading police, driving at speed in poor conditions and had been involved in a collision.

He said he would still give credit in that the defendant had not tried to 'weasel out' of the charges, and had contested the dangerous driving charge on a legal issue.

Rogers was disqualified from driving for a period of 12 months and ordered to pay fines totalling £500, alongside a £15 offender's levy.

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