Man released to appeal jail sentence

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A 25-year-old man with 114 previous convictions was given a four month custodial sentence last Friday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for motoring offences.

He was Brian Paul Ward, Inisfail Walk, Lurgan.

For taking a car without the consent of the owner he was sentenced to four months in prison and banned from driving for three years.

Concurrent two month sentences were imposed for not having insurance and obstructing a police officer.

He was fined £100 for not having a licence and £100 for a defective light. He was also ordered to pay a £25 offender’s levy.

The court heard that on March 31 this year at 10.55pm he was stopped while driving at Kernan Hill Road, Portadown, because police noticed the offside headlight was defective.

Ward gave police an incorrect name and he was issued with a fixed penalty notice.

On April 1 police called at an address in Lurgan and spoke to the person whose name Ward had given. Ward then admitted he had been driving and he had taken the car without the consent of the owner.

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

A barrister representing the defendant said he had a 12 page record with 114 previous convictions and had served significant periods in custody. He added that Ward had never passed a driving test and gave an account of why he was in the vehicle, saying it was a mercy run.

District Judge, Mr Peter King, said that in 2012 Ward had served four months in custody for a no insurance offence.

Bail for appeal was set at £250 and Ward was released pending appeal.