Drunk driver jailed for seven months

A drunk driver who mounted a roundabout has been jailed for a total of seven months.

Mark McEleney also admitted smashing a woman’s windows because he held a ‘grudge’ against her son.

McEleney, of Durrow Park, pleaded guilty to a number of driving offences including driving with excess alcohol, dangerous driving, no insurance and no driving licence.

These offences were committed between March 10 and July 13.

The 27-year-old also admitted common assault and criminal damage relating to an incident in March last year.

Derry Magistrate’s Court heard police were on patrol in the Hazlebank area of the city in the early hours of the morning and saw five men in a car.

They attempted to speak to the driver, but the car took off at speed.

Police signalled for it to stop but the car was driven on the wrong side of the road and mounted a roundabout.

The court was told this caused ‘extensive damage to the signage’.

McEleney was driving the car and appeared to be ‘struggling to control it’.

The car was eventually stopped just short of the border.

McEleney got out of the car and put his hands up stating ‘fair enough you got me’.

During police interview, he admitted causing damage to the roundabout and said ‘I’m sure the government will fix it’.

A breath test gave a reading of 77mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, more than twice the legal limit.

The court also heard about an incident in Old City Court last year, when McEleney smashed windows at a property.

He used a metal bar to do this and when the owner of the property challenged him, the 27-year-old turned towards her with the weapon.

The court was told the woman was ‘distraught and shaken’ after the incident.

Defence counsel Steven Mooney said his client had a ‘grudge’ against the injured party’s son.

He said McEleney wished to apologise to the woman because she was ‘not the intended target of his anger on this particular day’.

District Judge Barney McElholm jailed McEleney for a total of seven months, fined him £1,600 and disqualified him from driving for 15 months.

The judge also imposed a restraining order which bans the 27-year-old from going within 100m of the injured party’s home.