Dylan Melanophy (25) of Boho Road, Gardenhill appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Wednesday for sentencing on charges of drink driving, careless driving, failing to stop for police, and failing to provide a breath specimen for testing.
At around 3.10am on Sunday, April 12 police on the Marble Arch Road at Florencecourt pulled a car over at the side of the road. When officers approached the car it took off, stopped, then drove off again, this time at speed in the direction of Enniskillen.
Police followed the car, which was driving in the region of 70mph, and it passed through a stop sign without stopping. Police then deployed a stinger device, which brought the car to a stop.
Melanophy was removed from the driver’s seat and officers noted his breath smelled of alcohol. When tested, the defendant returned a reading of 111 micrograms per 100ml of breath, 76 micrograms in excess of the legal limit of 35.
Defence barrister Mark Reel said there was “very little could be said” about the incident, which he said all started with Melanophy’s decision to drive a relatively short distance home on a rural road in the early hours of the morning.
Stating Melanophy had decided to drive off from police as his “judgement and reason” had been impaired by alcohol, Mr Reel said “there is a reason people are not allowed to drink and drive.” The barrister said it was clear the defendant had not been thinking straight as he had initially stopped for police before driving off again, then stopping again, and driving off once more.
Mr Reel said Melanophy had “panicked” and afterwards was grateful the incident had ended with police bringing him to a stop and that no one was injured.
“He accepts it could have ended very, very differently,” said Mr Reel.
Referring to a pre-sentence report, District Judge Steven Keown said it was clear Melanophy was remorseful and had insight into what he had done.
“It was a one-off act of madness for an otherwise decent young man,” said Mr Reel, stating the defendant had never been in trouble with police before.
Mr Reel said that as he lived in a rural area and worked on a family farm, a driving disqualification would impact Melanophy harder than someone living in a town or city.
Judge Keown disqualified Melanophy from driving for two years and fined him a total of £800. He also certified him for the drink driving course.
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