Dangerous driver crashed into cars

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A 32-year serving soldier was given suspended prison sentences last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for motoring offences.

Samuel Vennard, of an address in Tandragee, admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol in blood and not having insurance.

For each offence he was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

He was also banned from driving for a total of 12 months.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court to obtain a pre-sentence report.

The previous court heard that at 6.30am police received a report of a road traffic accident on the Mahon Road in Portadown.

A Mini Cooper driven by the defendant had crashed into two cars and a property at Swallowfield.

Vennard presented himself at Mahon Road.

After failing a preliminary breath test with a reading of 78 a sample of blood, on analysis, gave a reading of 138 – the limit is 80.

He claimed there was diesel on the road and it was a bad bend where there had been previous accidents.

A barrister representing the defendant said very significant damage had been caused.

He added that Vennard had been drinking at home the night before and when he got up he was still intoxicated.

The lawyer added that he was a serving soldier and he faced disciplinary procedures in the army with his employment very much in the balance.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said she did not have the power to direct the defendant to pay compensation but there was nothing to stop him doing it by himself.