Drink driver who crashed car on way home from pub in Antrim called police to say vehicle had been 'stolen'

Drink driver who crashed car on way home from pub in Antrim called police to say vehicle had been 'stolen'

A MAN who crashed his car whilst drink driving on the way home from a pub in Antrim town called police claiming the vehicle had been stolen.

Details emerged at Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, regarding Aaron Clerkin (22), of Corbally Avenue in Antrim.

He pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol in breath in relation to August 6 this year.

A prosecutor said at 5.15am police attended Fountain Hill in Antrim after they received a report a 'stolen' vehicle - a Seat Ibiza - had been crashed.

The car had "significant" frontal damage after crashing into a kerb.

Police spoke with Clerkin who was near the vehicle and he was "highly intoxicated".

The prosecutor said the defendant told police that earlier in the night he had left the engine running at the front of his home address and a short time later he noticed the car missing.

The defendant told police he had not reported it at that time but only when it was found crashed.

The defendant had an alcohol in breath reading of 88 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said Clerkin had done "two stupid things" - driving whilst over the limit and, after crashing, reporting the vehicle as stolen.

"Police were always going to see right through, as they did," he told the court and added it had been "pure panic" by the defendant.

He said Clerkin had driven to a bar and had intended to leave the car there but had then taken to the road.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a "high reading" and banned the defendant from driving for 14 months along with a £200 fine.