Man should not have been driving vehicle, court is told


A 42-year-old man was given suspended prison sentences last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for motoring offences.

Kieran McAlinden, Carrigart, Craigavon, was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and banned for 18 months for dangerous driving between December 12, 2013 and December 21, 2013.

A concurrent three month term, also suspended for two years, and a 12 month ban were imposed for driving without insurance.

The court heard that a woman who was a back seat passenger in a car with two friends in front noticed a car in front swerving all over the road.

They followed it and were fearful that the driver may be under the influence of alcohol.

They followed him through Lurgan and he stopped at the traffic lights at McDonald’s. He drove off and was speeding up and slowing down.

The court heard that police contacted the last owner of the vehicle and he said he had sold it to the defendant the day before. A breath test proved negative.

Mr Pat McMahon, representing the defendant, said that in the late 90s McAlinden had suffered a brain trauma and as a result could not speak.

He explained that when the people in the car which followed the defendant had put down the window his reply was incoherent and they thought he was intoxicated. The breathalyser was zero but McAlinden should probably not have been driving.

Mr McMahon said his client felt he could drive but he should not be driving. His car had been involved in an accident and he gone and got this car.

He added that McAlinden understands now he should not be driving.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said clearly the defendant should not have been driving on this occasion. His driving was so poor it was thought he was under the influence of alcohol.

He pointed out McAlinden had a very poor record with 39 offences.