Police suspected drug driver would overdose

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A 35-years-old man who police suspected of being about to overdose after they pulled him over for driving dangerously in Derry last year, has been fined £500 and disqualified from driving for12 months

Patrick Joseph McMahon, of Upper Suffolk Road, Belfast, appearing at Derry Magistrate’s Court on Friday, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit through drugs, driving without due care and attention and possession of Cannabis.

A Public Prosecution Service (PPS) solicitor said police received a report of a car driving dangerously in the vicinity of the Caw roundabout at around 1.20pm on April 10, 2016.

A further report of a car crashing into a wall in the Waterside was also reported to police at around 3.00 pm, the court heard.

The defendant was pulled over on the Foreglen Road near Claudy after being seen swerving erratically into the hard shoulder.

A breath test carried out by police at the scene gave a reading of zero, however, McMahon appeared nervous and his pupils were dilated to such an extent that his irises were barely visible.

Police searched the car and found a Cannabis grinder, the court heard.

During questioning McMahon’s medical condition deteriorated and he was taken to A&E by officers concerned over a “suspected overdose.”

A defence solicitor said McMahon had had a number of issues with drugs in the past.

The solicitor said he had passed his driving test just four days before the offending and hadn’t driven since the incident.