Court cases

Two-year driving ban for Portstewart motorist

A PORTSTEWART man was almost three times over the drink drive limit when his car veered across the white line and struck an oncoming vehicle causing pieces of debris to hit another vehicle, North Antrim Magistrates Court in Coleraine heard yesterday (Monday).

Stephen John Leighton, (41), of Mullaghacall Road, was banned from driving for two years and fined a total of 400 for driving with excess alcohol and driving carelessly at Portstewart Road, Coleraine, on July 1 last year.

He had an alcohol breath reading of 102 per 100 of breath, 67 over the legal limit of 35/100.

Defence solicitor Philip Kingston said his client had been drinking at the time of the offences because a relationship had come to an end.

He added: "It is a high reading and he doesn't seek to back away from that in any way." Leighton had a previous drink driving conviction in the late 1980s.

Resident Magistrate Richard Wilson noted it was a "high" reading.

Meanwhile, at the same court, a Newtownabbey man, who was more than three times over the drink driving limit, was banned for a year and fined 200 in his absence.

Kevin Alexander Hutcheon (33), of Bencrom Park, attracted the attention of police because of his driving on the Frocess Road at Ballymoney on May 10 last year.

A breath test gave a reading of 107/100 - 72 over the legal limit.

Failed to complete community service

A CUSHENDALL man who failed to complete community service has had the court order revoked and replaced with four months in custody.

Paul McKeegan (21), of Kilnadore Brae, was convicted last year of offences which included burglary and theft.

At North Antrim Magistrates Court in Coleraine yesterday (Monday) he was also banned from driving for a year and fined 500.

Alleged intimidation

A 20-year-old Coleraine man has been charged with intimidating from her home a female witness connected with court proceedings.

Brendan Joseph Letters, unemployed of Somerset Drive, is alleged to have committed the offence on March 19 this year when he is further charged with having possession of an offensive weapon and with assaulting a police officer.

North Antrim Magistrates Court in Coleraine yesterday (Monday) heard he replied not guilty to intimidating the woman and replied 'no' to the offensive weapon charge and assaulting the police officer.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear back at the same court via video link on April 26.

Coleraine man admits handling charge

A 34-year-old Coleraine man has admitted dishonestly receiving a stolen Warmflow central heating system and oil burner which belonged to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Gary Russell Laverty, a charge hand, of Hillview Park, pleaded guilty to the offence, which occurred on March 9 this year, when he appeared at North Magistrates Court, Coleraine, yesterday (Monday), and had his case adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report until May 10.

His solicitor claimed the defendant has now "turned the corner".

Another Coleraine man, unemployed Gerald John Kennedy (33), of Somerset Drive, is charged with dishonestly handling the same items between March 3 and March 9.

His case was adjourned until May 10.