Van was 'airborne' before landing in ditch in Randalstown area and then drugs were found

Van was 'airborne' before landing in ditch in Randalstown area and then drugs were found

A VAN had gone "airborne" and ended up lying in a ditch at  Portglenone Road, Randalstown, on February 26 this year, Ballymena Magistrates Court was told.

Matthew Gracey (20), of Markstown Grove, Cullybackey, admitted charges of failing to provide a blood sample to police and also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and Pregabalin and failing to display R plates.

A prosecutor said the defendant said he had been doing 55-60mph when he hit a "patch of black ice" but police could not see any ice.

The court heard the van had travelled around "200 yards" on a grass verge before "going airborne into the ditch and hitting a large rock".

The prosecutor said a witness said Gracey removed an SD Card from a Dashcam.

When arrested police found cannabis and Pregabalin and the defendant said "That's my grass".

He was "unsteady on his feet" and his reactions were delayed.

A preliminary breath test for alcohol was zero but he refused to provide a blood sample.

Defence solicitor John McAtamney said the use of drugs at the time had been "recreational" but that the defendant instructs he "no longer uses any drugs".

The defendant was banned from driving for 16 months and fined £325.