Buckfast bottles found in crashed vehicle

Court
Court

When police found a car crashed into a hedge with the rest of it on the road the driver was asleep and two empty bottles of Buckfast were in the vehicle.

Mark Branagan (26), Whitehall Road, Aghagallon, had previously admitted driving with excess alcohol in his breath on March 19 this year.

The case was adjourned until last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court when he was sentenced.

He was given three months in prison, ordered to pay a £25 offender’s levy and banned from driving for four years.

The court heard that police received a report of a man crashing a vehicle at the Inn Road, Dollingstown.

They found the car with its front in a hedgerow and the rear on the road. The vehicle had struck an earthen bank.

Branagan was asleep in the driver’s seat and it took several tries to rouse him. There were two empty Buckfast bottles in the car.

An evidential breath sample gave a reading of 102.

Defence solicitor Pat Vernon said Branagan had a similar offence waiting an appeal and was in court the following week for another similar offence.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, told Branagan that his ‘recidivism cannot be ignored’ because he repeatedly was going out drinking and driving.

She added that the defendant wanted his car back.

Branagan said this was to sell it.

Judge Kelly said no chance and that given his record there was only one penalty she could impose.

Sentencing his to a custodial sentence she also ordered forfeiture of the car.

She added that this was to help protect the public.