Cannabis user took mum’s car

Craigavon Courthouse.
Craigavon Courthouse.

After smoking cannabis an 18-year-old man took his mother’s car and it was later found on lying on its roof, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday.

Conor McNally, McDonald’s Terrace, Magheralin, admitted a series of driving offences when he appeared at the court.

These were taking a vehicle without consent and causing damage to it, not having a licence, driving while unfit, no insurance and driving without due care and attention.

At approximately 1am on July 31, 2014, police received a report from the defendant’s mother that her son had taken her car without her permission. There was a friend in the car with him.

Police found the car badly damaged on its roof on the Damhill Road, Magheralin, and the defendant and his friend were found on the Belfast Road. McNally admitted smoking cannabis before asking his mother for the car keys so he could get a lighter. He then took the car.

A blood sample was taken from him and analysis showed it contained a constituent of cannabis.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said the offences were aggravated by factors including that the car was taken without permission, McNally had no licence or insurance and he caused a road traffic accident.

A solicitor said the defendant, who had just turned 18, had a not too impressive record with an offence for robbery in the youth court.

He added that at that time his client was going through a very difficult time relating to the death of his father and there was a recklessness in his approach to life. The solicitor explained McNally was back in the family home and seemed to be addressing his issues. He no longer took drugs and there was nothing else in the pipeline.

Judge Bates said McNally was only just into adulthood when this happened and he was going to get a pre-sentence report. Imposing an interim driving disqualification he adjourned the case until October 21 so that a report could be obtained.