Judge tells man ‘you could have killed someone’

Limavady Courthouse
Limavady Courthouse

A 44-year-old cafe assistant who drove almost three times over the limit has been told by a judge he “could have killed someone”.

Deputy District Judge Chris Holmes made the remark during a sitting of Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday when he was sentencing Karl Smith.

Smith was disqualified for five years from driving and fined £500 for driving with excess alcohol in blood, driving without insurance and and without a driving licence on June 19 on Seacoast Road, Limavady.

The court heard police received a report about a vehicle being driven “erratically”. They followed the vehicle and signalled for it stop.

When the car did stop, the court was told Smith “almost fell out” of the car, and told police: “I’m drunk and shouldn’t have done it”.

When Smith was in Coleraine Custody Suite he said he didn’t have a driving licence.

A blood test was later carried out which revealed a reading of 230 mcgs.

Defence Counsel for Smith, Nicki Rountree, who told the court her client was going through “a difficult time”, it was “a disgraceful set of facts”.

Ms Rountree said Smith had “foolishly got into the car” as he was trying to make an appointment. She said Smith no longer has access to a car.

During sentencing, Deputy District Judge Holmes told Smith, whose address was given as Strawbridge Park, Portballintrae, his alcohol reading was “horrendous”.

“You could have killed anybody that night, and that’s just unforgivable,” said Judge Holmes, who also told Smith he was “a menace to everybody” at the time of the incident.