Driver found close to his burning car

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When police came across a car on fire at a roundabout in Craigavon they found the driver, who was drunk, just a short distance away.

He was Tony Maher (31), Ballyoran Crescent, Portadown, and he admitted a number of offences when he appeared last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Maher pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on July 9 this year, not having insurance and not having a licence.

The court heard that police came across a car on fire at the Knockmenagh Road, Craigavon. It had driven through a roundabout.

Maher was located about 200 yards away and when arrested said, “I wasn’t driving no car” and “So I walk past something and I get arrested”.

A breath test gave a reading of 84 and when he was interviewed later the defendant admitted the offences and apologised for his actions.

A solicitor representing Maher said he was drunk at the time he was arrested but changed his tune very quickly when he sobered up.

He explained that the defendant had been out with his girlfriend at a party. She felt ill and they started to walk home when he was offered the sale of a car. Maher had the signed registration in his pocket.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, pointed out that the defendant had a number of previous convictions for no insurance offences and that in July he had received a probation order for an assault charge.

The solicitor said that Maher had been attending that and it was going well.

Judge Bates said he was going to get a pre-sentence report to see how to deal with the matter and adjourned the case until September 23.

He imposed an interim disqualification for the excess alcohol offence.