A Mosside man who hid from police in a ‘water ditch’ near his home, has pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in his breath.
James Neill (58) with an address on the Moyarget Road area of Mosside, had his case listed at Coleraine Magistrates Court (which is currently sitting in Ballymena Courthouse), on Monday September 28.
The particulars of the case heard in court are that Police received a report on May 5th this year from Mr Neill’s wife that her husband had suffered a puncture on the vehicle he was driving whilst on his way home. On arrival, she noticed that he had been drinking but indicated to the Police patrol that her husband had made off through fields.
Police searched the local area and fields, finding Mr Neill in a ‘water ditch’ approximately 20 minutes later, which he was removed from and taken into police custody.
Mr Neill made a full admission to the charge – after providing an evidential sample of 63μg alcohol in breath per 100ml – that he had driven his vehicle home after consuming cider during his lunch.
The District Judge in the case Judge King said that it was an: “Unusual set of circumstances. We have the wife. We have the sheugh. We have the puncture”.
The defence for Mr Neill told the court that his client had “driven for 30 years” and to his knowledge “had no convictions or blemishes to his record what so ever” and asked the court to give Mr Neill credit for “making a full admission”.
Mr Neill was sentenced to 12 months disqualification from driving, with that period of disqualification reduced by 3 months on the successful completion of a certified drink driving course.
He was also ordered to pay a £200 fine and £15 offenders levy.