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Woman in court after car plunges onto rocks at shoreline in Portstewart

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McAuley Multimedia

A drink driver whose mental health was at a “low ebb” deliberately plunged her car onto rocks on a shoreline at a north coast seaside resort, a court heard on Monday.

Stacey Yates (32), of Danes Hill Road, Coleraine, admitted a charge of driving with excess alcohol in her breath when she appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court.

The court heard she had a reading of 108 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath with the legal limit being 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – making her more than three times the limit.

A prosecution lawyer said police received a report of a car on rocks below the promenade at The Crescent in Portstewart on March 5 this year.

A defence barrister said the defendant was a “lady of good character” who was now “totally embarrassed” at what happened after the incident “attracted quite a significant amount of attention”.

He said it was a “sad” case and that the defendant had long-standing mental health issues.

On the day in question the defendant tried to go off her medication and at her “lowest ebb” she decided to drive onto the rocks.

The lawyer said it was a “deliberate action” but no other cars were inconvenienced.

The barrister said it was accepted it was a high alcohol reading.

District Judge Peter King adjourned sentencing until the end of month saying he wanted a pre-sentence report due to the “very unusual set of circumstances”.

In the mean time the defendant has been banned from driving.

The judge noted the incident had attracted much media coverage at the time.

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