Drink drive motorist who failed to stop for police claimed he did not hear siren

A motorist who was three and a half times the drink drive limit who failed to stop for police claimed he failed to hear a siren and was shocked to see officers, Ballymena Magistrates Court heard on Thursday.

Christopher McKenna (45), of Belmont Park in Rasharkin, admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol in his breath; failing to stop for police; diving without insurance; disorderly behaviour, resisting police and assaulting police.

Around midnight on August 15 last year police observed a Ford Fiesta being driven at Townhill Road and despite signalling for the vehicle to stop it made off.
Smoke started to come from the vehicle and when the vehicle stopped a police officer reached in to take the keys out when he was assaulted by McKenna.
The defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 123 – the legal limit is 35.

A bag of alcohol was in the car and the defendant was shouting and was warned about his behaviour.

A defence lawyer said the defendant now accepts he was in no position to drive any vehicle.

The lawyer said McKenna had been at home and had taken drink but when he was hungry he decided to go and get fast food and was on his way home when spotted by police.

The lawyer said the defendant did not hear the siren and was shocked when he saw officers.

The lawyer said the assaults were “somewhat minor”.

McKenna, it was said, had made a “very grave error” and was ashamed of what he had done.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a “poor piece of behaviour” and said speeding when excessively drunk was dangerous and the assaults on police had made a bad situation worse.

McKenna was given a five months jail term, suspended for 18 months, and banned from driving for two years.

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