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22/09/2021

Drunk driver who poured can of beer over police officer over fined £400

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A 31-year-old Derry man who poured a can of beer of a PSNI officer after a chase through the city has been handed a suspended prison sentence. Gavin Campbell, of St Cecilia’s Walk in Derry, appeared at the local Magistrates Court on Friday where he admitted driving with excess alcohol, falling to stop for police and assault on police on December 23 last. The court heard that police observed Campbell's car in William Street in the early hours of the morning. As his car approached a roundabout it appeared to momentarily lose control, before making off at speed. Police followed with their lights and siren on but stopped due to the dangerousness of the situation as there was both traffic and pedestrians in the area at the time. Officers then went to the defendant’s house, where the saw the same vehicle parked outside with its lights still on and a can of alcohol in the car. The court was told that when Campbell answered the door he agreed to submit to a breath test, but before he did so he tried to drink from another similar can of alcohol. Police stopped him, and he poured the contents of the can over an officer. He was arrested and an evidential breath test revealed a reading of 59 mgs, almost 20 mgs over the limit. Campbell was interviewed and told police he remembered being in the area where police said he was, but did not see police trying to stop him. The defendant also claimed he had no reason to drive away and said he had been drinking at home. Defence barrister Dean Mooney said apart from the incident with the can, Campbell had been compliant with police. He said his client accepts he had 'no business being behind the wheel of a car.' Campbell was sentenced to five months in prison suspended for two years, disqualified for 16 months and fined £400.

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