A GARRISON man who reported his car as stolen after crashing into a family has been disqualified from driving for 14 months.
Damien Keaney of Melvin Park appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last week where he pleaded guilty to failing to report an accident, drink driving, careless driving, and wasting police time,
On Thursday, December 28th, at around 4.15pm, police received a report of a crash on the Lattone Road between two cars. Keaney had been driving one of the cars involved, an Audi A4, while a couple with their three-month-old child were in the other car, a Ford.
The father in the Ford said they’d been driving towards Belcoo when they saw the defendant’s car travelling in the opposite direction at speed behind a tractor. They said the Audi began to skid into their lane.
To avoid a collision the family drove onto a grass bank, but the other car still collided with them.
The family’s car, worth £18,000, was a “write off” and the cost was covered by the defendant’s insurance.
When police arrived at the scene they got a call from the defendant to say his car had been stolen from his partner’s house.
The police called with Keaney, who then admitted his car hadn’t been stolen, and breathalysed him.
He returned an evidential reading of 64 micrograms per 100ml of breath, the legal limit being 35 micrograms.
He told the police he’d had two cans of lager between 5-6pm.
Keaney admitted to driving too fast, but denied drink driving.
Defence solicitor Bernard Corrigan said the incident would have “serious consequences” for his job as he drove a lorry for a living, and handed in a letter from Keaney’s partner.
Mr Corrigan said that Keaney, who had no previous convictions, accepted he’d made a foolish mistake by first reporting his car as stolen, and said he informed police it had been him very quickly afterwards. The solicitor added he had no doubt Keaney would ever be in court again.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan said he was reassured no police time had been wasted as Keaney had admitted his car wasn’t stolen shortly afterwards.
Judge Ranaghan disqualified Keaney for 14 months, and certified him for the drink driving course which will reduce the ban by 25 percent if completed.
Judge Ranaghanalso fined him a total of £400.
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