Driver reported car ‘hi-jacked’

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A Gilford man who reported to police that his car had been hi-jacked refused to provide a breath test after officers became suspicious about his story.

Kieran McCavana (28), whose address was given as Hill Street, Gilford, admitted failing to provide a specimen of breath on September 14 last year, criminal damage to a computer monitor and attempted criminal damage to an electronic pen.

For the specimen charge he was fined £100, ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy and given four points on his driving licence last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

A three month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, was imposed on each of the other two offences.

The court heard that at 5.40am a car was found abandoned at Lake Road in Craigavon.

At 6am the defendant arrived at Lurgan police station and reported that his car had been hi-jacked near the Drumbeg estate. He said he had been looking for the car for around four hours.

McCavana appeared intoxicated and said he had been given alcohol by strangers he met while walking around the area.

He became agitated and tried to leave the station and police became suspicious when he gave two conflicting versions of what happened.

The defendant refused to provide a sample and as he was being processed he punched a computer monitor and shoved a pen and pad.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A barrister representing McCavana said he was a young man who struggles with alcohol but he was attempting to address this problem. He had gone to his doctor and was now on antibuse.

She added that it was a bizarre incident and the defendant behaved appallingly when challenged by the police.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter said McCavana was entitled to credit for the way he has dealt with the matter and to a degree he had turned things around.