Cullybackey motorist failed to provide specimen to police after being 'pepper-sprayed'

Cullybackey motorist failed to provide specimen to police after being 'pepper-sprayed'

A DEFENCE lawyer claimed a man from the Cullybackey area became "belligerent" and refused to provide a specimen to police after he was pepper-sprayed.

The comment was made by solicitor Emma McCann at Ballymena Magisrates Court where Alistar Reid (29), of Dunminning Road, was banned from driving for 16 months and fined £250.

A prosecutor said at 2.30am on August 2 this year police saw a vehicle being driven "erratically" in the Galgorm area.

When stopped the defendant was said to be unsteady on his feet and he was "not able to understand basic instructions".

Ms McCann said a police officer's statement said the defendant said he was "feeling unwell" and was told to sit down "but the police officer said he began to pace around him and seemed either unwilling or unable to understand instructions".

She said pepper spray was used on the defendant as he had a "very muscular physical build" and was "pacing around" an officer.

The solicitor said that had not been the "best way" to deal with the matter and it appeared it made the defendant "somewhat belligerent and he was quite aggrieved at how he had been dealt with".

The lawyer said the defendant co-operated in going to the station but then refused to provide a specimen of breath.