A 74-YEAR-OLD driver has been fined and banned from driving after he drove off from police then attempted to run into a field when arrested on suspicion of drink driving.
James Beacom (74) of Feglish Road, Tullywolly, Irvinestown pleaded guilty to failing to stop for police, resisting police, and failing to provide a specimen at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday. He had been charged after the incident on May 5 this year when police on patrol in the Irvinestown area noticed an Audi A4 driving on the Dromore Road with its full lights on despite it being a clear evening.
They signalled for the car to stop but it continued on for around three-quarters-of-a-mile along the road at approximately 50-60mph, continued up into a farmyard, and stopped when it came to a gate. The driver, Beacom, got out of the car and spoke with the officers, who noted a smell of drink on his breath and that his speech was slurred.
Beacom, who made no reply after caution, was arrested and as he was being escorted to the police car he started swinging his arms around, knocking a radio off one of the officers, and then ran off into a field before being arrested again.
When brought to the police station Beacom did not provide a breath specimen for testing, sucking the straw of the evidenzer machine rather than blowing into it. His defence barrister Stephen Fitzpatrick indicated his client had health reasons that may account for this. Stating that 74-years-old was an age no one should be before a court, Mr Fitzpatrick said Beacom was very ashamed and embarrassed to be in that position. The barrister explained Beacom, who had one previous conviction dating to 1988, lived in a rural area relied on his car to get around his farm, and asked District Judge Nigel Broderick to keep any driving disqualification to a minimum as his client would have to retake his test as a result, which could be difficult for him.
Judge Broderick said while he would give Beacom some credit for his plea, the case wasn’t straight forward and said the fact he had failed to stopped then attempted to run away from police was an aggravating factor.
For failing to stop he fined Beacom £100 and disqualified him from driving for 12 months, for resisting he fined him £100, and for failing to provide a specimen he fined him £300 and disqualified him from driving for 18 months, until retested.
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