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Drink driver removed a tyre and debris from road after ‘very serious’ early morning crash

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A TYRE was ripped from a vehicle and a drink driver removed it and other debris from a road after crashing, a court heard.

Philip Rea (35), with an address at Norwell Park, Castlerock, was standing unsteady on his feet beside a tree when police arrived at the crash site at Drumcroon Road near Coleraine at 3.40am on September 16 last year.

He handed the keys to police and accepted he had been the driver.

He failed a preliminary breath test and a later evidential reading recorded 98 – the legal limit is 35.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court on January 13 the defendant admitted charges of driving with excess alcohol; driving whilst banned and using a Vauxhall Insignia without insurance.

Defence solicitor Sam Barr said it had been a “very serious” accident but fortunately no one was injured.

He said the defendant had little recollection but had the “good sense” to remove considerably large amounts of debris – including a tyre which came off – from the road to avoid other road users being put in danger.

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions including excess alcohol; driving whilst unfit and failing to provide a specimen.

District Judge Peter King imposed a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years and fined Rea £300 along with a three-year driving ban.

He warned the defendant: “You were drink driving while disqualified. If there is any repeat offending four months will be the starting point.

“Had this been your second driving while disqualified offence I would have sent you to prison today.”

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