Coa father who crashed into garden was three times over limit

Enniskillen Court House

Enniskillen Court House

A 44-year-old Coa father of three, who crashed his car into a garden, was over three times the legal alcohol limit for driving.

In the case heard at Fermanagh Magistrates Court Sean Patrick Murphy, of Coa Chapel Road was convicted of driving with excess alcohol in his breath and driving without due care and attention.


He was disqualified for two years and fined £500.
The prosecutor outlined that on November 16, 2014 police were called to the Moneynoe Park area of Enniskillen after a report of a vehicle crashing into a garden.

The witness observed the defendant driving the Peugeot 206 and then exiting the vehicle and staggering away, wearing a striped top. When police arrived they observed Murphy as the only male in the area and identified him by the stripy top.
They noted he was heavily intoxicated, detected a strong smell of alcohol and that he was swaying from side to side.

Officers noted the smell of burnt rubber in the area particularly close to the vehicle, observed the substantial impact damage to the wheel of the car, especially the steel rim.

Police made enquiries regarding the name on the insurance policy and it was discovered the defendant was the owner. When he was made aware of the facts Murphy responded in slurred and broken speech stating he had not driven the vehicle, but rather had arrived by taxi two hours previous and was now waiting on another taxi to arrive.

When asked if he had keys to the vehicle, the defendant denied having them. After a search of his person the keys were located in his left foot and falling down his trouser leg. Police administered a preliminary breath test which was failed and an evidential reading at the station revealed a reading of 120mg, over three times the legal limit.

Defence solicitor Emer Cox told the court that on the night in question Murphy had attended a friends house to visit, but had not intended to drink alcohol and had arranged a lift home. As the night went on however he drank alcohol and the lift did not materialise.

Speaking on behalf of her client Ms Cox labelled the behaviour as ‘unacceptable’ and said the defendant was ‘disgusted with himself’ over what had happened. She said Murphy had very little memory from the night due to the alcohol consumed.


The defence stated that Murphy works in the construction industry in London and was reliant on his vehicle for work.

While she acknowledged a relevant previous record dating back to 2006 the solicitor added that there were no other points or entries on the defendant’s and asked the judge to take into account his early guilty plea.

District judge Nigel Broderick told the court: “This is a very high reading and must be reflected in the court’s penalty.” The judge added: “It is not without significance you have a relevant record for being drunk in charge from 2006, dealt with in 2007.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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