A BALLYSHANNON man who spat at police after being arrested for using a false number plate and refusing to give a drink driving breath sample has been disqualified from driving for three years.
Eunan McGrath (47) of Ernedale, Ballyshannon appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to having no insurance, having no licence, failing to provide a breath specimen, criminal damage, and fraudulently using a vehicle registration mark.
On August 16 last, at around 2am, police received a report of a stolen car on Queen’s Street in Enniskillen.
It was also reported a dog in the car had been stolen.
Police checks revealed neither the car nor the dog had been stolen and belonged to McGrath, who was driving the car.
McGrath was asked to provide a sample of breath to test if was drink driving, and he refused. He was arrested, and while being taken to the police station he spat at an officer twice, which led to the criminal damage charge.
In custody, McGrath was asked twice more to provide a breath sample and refused to do so.
The defendant told officers he had been disqualified from driving in the South, which meant he did not have a licence and was not insured.
Police checks had also revealed the number plate being used by McGrath did not match his car. The owner of the car reported that it had fallen off while they were driving.
When McGrath was interviewed the following day he said he said he did not know how much he had to drink before driving but it was quite a bit.
Defence solicitor Eamonn Logan noted McGrath had been stopped at the filling station directly beside Enniskillen Police Station.
Mr Logan said McGrath was a man who had “got well into his 40s” without coming to police attention, and said he suffered from ill health and alcohol issues.
He added on the day he was stopped in Enniskillen, McGrath had come in to visit his uncle, and was embarrassed by what had happened.
With regard the number plate, Mr Logan said McGrath had found it on the road and picked up, and “stuck it on his vehicle for whatever reason.”
District Judge Steven Keown said he hoped McGrath was getting assistance for his difficulties. He fined him a total of £750 and disqualified him from driving for three years.
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