Man ‘dropped from the sky and drove car’

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

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A drunken woman who was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car after she had struck a parked vehicle was ‘smiling and laughing’.

And she told police that a man had dropped out of the sky and driven the car.

Angelika Wierzchowska (26), Bells Row Court, Lurgan, appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

For driving with excess alcohol on February 21 this year she was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for 18 months.

Concurrent two month terms, also suspended for two years, and 12 month bans were imposed for not having insurance and failing to report an accident.

The court heard that around 2am in Rectory Park, Lurgan, a member of the public reported a car being driven by a blonde female who seemed to be drunk.

When police arrived they found the defendant sitting in the driver’s seat of the car which was stationary in the centre of the road.

She was smiling and laughing, there was a strong smell of intoxicating liquor on her breath and her speech was slurred. The car keys were on her lap.

She confirmed she was the owner of the car but there was no insurance in place. A car parked 40 feet away had been damaged.

The defendant failed a roadside test and on her way to the custody suite she said ‘will I not be able to drive for a year’.

At the station an evidential breath test gave a reading of 104 - the limit is 35.

When she was interviewed she denied driving and said that ‘a man dropped from the sky’ and drove to the scene of the collision before disappearing.

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

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said that her true character was borne out in the pre-sentence report.

He added that she took the matter very seriously and was assessed at a low likelihood of re-offending.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said the defendant had a previous conviction for aggravated vehicle taking in 2008 along with driving without insurance and a similar insurance offence in 2013.

He added that the reading in the case was very high and told the defendant he was going to leave something hanging over her head.