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Man caught on roads weeks after ban for drink driving sentenced to probation and community service

A Dungannon man who was caught behind the wheel of a car just weeks after being handed a disqualification for driving with excess alcohol has been ordered to complete probation and community service.

Sentencing the 29-year-old, who was also handed a two-year ban, the deputy district judge stated: “The court takes a dim view of people driving about the place after the court has disqualified them.”

Joel Coleman, of Derryscollop Road, appeared for sentencing on driving whilst disqualified, using a vehicle without insurance and excess speed at Armagh Magistrates’, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday via videolink from his solicitor’s office.

Prosecution outlined that on September 19,  at 11.25am, police conducting a vehicle speed check on College Hill, Armagh, stopped a Volkswagen Jetta travelling at 41mph in 30mph zone.

The driver was identified as the defendant, with subsequent checks revealing that he was a disqualified driver and not insured to drive the vehicle in question.

Defence barrister Fintan McAleer stated: “The reason he came to police attention was that he was travelling 41 in a 30, he instructs he did not realise he was in the 30mph zone.

“Regardless, he should not have been behind the wheel of a car but it is clear he co-operated fully with police.”

Mr McAleer said Coleman’s wife had recently purchased the car and they had taken it in order to have a problem with the tyres addressed.

He added that the defendant’s wife had been hesitant about driving the vehicle, it being “slightly bigger” than the she was used too, and Coleman had been driving it home for her.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer stated: “This was just six weeks after he was disqualified for driving with excess alcohol…the court takes a dim view of people driving about the place after the court has disqualified them”

Coleman was sentenced to a combination order consisting of 12 months probation and 100 hours of community service.

In addition, the defendant was disqualified from driving for two years and was ordered to pay a fine of £460, long with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

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