A man who told Police his car had been stolen following an RTC was later found to have lied after forensics placed him in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
The defendant had already received a 12-month disqualification from Magherafelt Magistrates’ just days before this appearance, pleading guilty to being ‘unfit in charge of a vehicle’.
Coleraine Magistrates’ Court on Friday (May 23) heard that on May 17 2020, Police responded to the scene of a crash where a car had collided with a concrete post on the Mullan Road Kilrea. Following a check of the vehicle details, Police were able to establish the owners home address –just a short distance away.
On arrival at the address, Officers were let into the property, where they found the defendant asleep on a sofa. After being woken, the defendant said that he parked his car the previous evening at the back of the property with the keys inside and that it had been stolen.
The Court heard whilst at the property, Police observed a black puffer jacket with debris and white powder on it, believing it to be consistent with a car airbag going off.
Forensics of the vehicle later found traces of the defendants DNA on the airbag, and he was charged with ‘driving without due care and attention’.
Another charge of ‘perverting the course of justice’ in the case wasn’t heard; instead, the PPS told the Court that it would be going by way of an indictable summons and a PE (preliminary enquiry) date would need to be fixed at a later time.
In a separate case before the Court, which occurred just ten days later, on May 27 2020, the defendant entered guilty pleas to excess speed – doing 58 mph in a 40 – and failing to produce his licence.
A Defence Barrister told the Court that his client was working in hospitality and that he was also studying hospitality and catering at a local college, training to be a chef, telling the Court that the charges “will have a significant impact on travel to college and work”.
Ryan Mongomery (24) of Craylee Gardens Kilrea received fines totalling £325, disqualifications of 4 months and a £15 offenders levy.