Police officer had to kick way out of battered squad car rammed by drunken motorist in Ballymena

Police officer had to kick way out of battered squad car rammed by drunken motorist in Ballymena

A POLICE officer had to kick their way out of a PSNI car after the door jammed after being rammed by a drunken motorist in Ballymena.

Details emerged at Ballymena Magistrates Court where Greg Edward McCullough (28), of Wynthorpe Grove, Newtownabbey, admitted charges including dangerous driving and driving whilst unfit.

The court heard McCullough had been on remand in custody since the offence on September 20 this year.

A prosecutor said the defendant had "felt like going for a drive" after downing ten beers.

When police received a report of a suspected drink driver they spotted McCullough, who was in his partner's Vauxhall Meriva car, and officers followed the defendant down Railway Street in Ballymena at 4am.

McCullough was travelling at a a speed of 50mph through the residential area and after performing a u-turn the car stopped "to face the police car".

The defendant then rammed the police car head-on before reversing and driving towards the passenger side of the police car.

One officer exited the vehicle but a colleague had to kick his way out as the ramming meant the passenger door was "stuck".

Officers shouted at McCullough to exit his vehicle and when he didn't do so the driver side window was broken by police to get the keys.

When interviewed he said he had "about ten beers" and he only had a provisional licence but had "felt like going for a drive"

The court heard McCullough had 72 previous convictions and had appeared in court on other matters a short time before the Ballymena incident.

A defence barrister said the defendant had been drinking "strong spirits" and had a very limited memory of the "serious" incident.

He said McCullough wished to apologise to the court and the officers involved.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it was a "poor set of offences".

McCullough was given a five months prison term; was banned from driving for 18 months and was fined £250.