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Man who drove three days after court ban said he got behind wheel to move belongings after being ‘thrown out’ by his girlfriend

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A MAN who drove a vehicle three days after being banned from the road said he got behind the wheel to move his belongings a short distance after being “thrown out” following a row with his girlfriend.

Police were called to an incident in the Somerset Park area of Coleraine on August 15 this year and found Piotr Czopek (37) in the driver seat of a parked car.

Coleraine Magistrates Court, on Monday, was told the ex-partner called police because Czopek’s Saab vehicle was blocking her drive way.

The defendant pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified and had previously denied a charge of driving with excess alcohol in relation to the same incident.

At Monday’s Court, prosecutors agreed to withdrawn the driving with excess alcohol charge.

Defence solicitor Brendan McLernon said it was a rather unusual and “bizarre” case.

He said the defendant, of Somerset Court in Coleraine, was a Polish man who lived here for seven years and works as a production operative for a food processing company.

On August 12 the defendant had been banned from getting behind the wheel following a guilty plea to a case of driving with excess alcohol and he then agreed to sell the car, which was parked at his girlfriend’s, to a work colleague with the deal due to be done on August 16.

On Thursday August 15, said the lawyer, after an argument with his girlfriend the defendant was “ordered out of the house” and “foolishly” put his belongings in the car to go 150 yards to his sister’s house.

He then took beer and fell asleep in the vehicle and the ex-partner phoned police because it was blocking the drive way.

The court heard the car was sold on the Friday.

Mr McLernon said the defendant had not set out to “willy-nilly” to have no regard to the initial driving ban.
For the latest offence Czopek was given a three months jail term, suspended for 18 months, and banned from driving for 18 months.

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