Jail for Primity Crescent man who fled PSNI

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Editorial image.

A drink driver from Newbuildings has been told by a local judge that he put the lives of other road users at risk after he drove up the Victoria Road without his car headlights on.

Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy made the comment as he jailed 22-year-old Stuart Harkness for a period of three months.

Harkness, whose address was given as Primity Crescent, Newbuildings, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol, failing to provide a specimen and failing to stop for police on October 14, last year.

Londonderry Magistrates Court heard the 22-year-old was refused entry to a city centre bar because he was too drunk.

He then got into a car and sped off in the direction of Queens Quay.

Police signalled for Harkness to stop, however, he continued to drive at speed and then crossed the Craigavon Bridge to the Eastbank of the River Foyle.

The court was told the 22-year-old then made his way along the Victoria Road and turned the headlights off.

Officers eventually arrested Harkness approximately six hours later.

The PSNI then conducted a breath test with Harkenss, which gave up a reading of 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his exhaled breath.

Defence counsel Stephen Chapman told the court his client has no criminal record, comes from a good family and has a good work record.

The defending lawyer also told the Court that the inevitable loss of the driving licence would ‘cause difficulties’ for Harkness in the future.

Jailing the twenty-two-year-old for three months, the Deputy District Judge Austin Kennedy said that driving at speed with no lights on was “entirely wreckless.”

Addressing the defendant, Deputy District Judge Kennedy stated: “You put your own life and the lives of other road users at risk.”

He wenton to say that the episode had been an example of “shocking and appalling behaviour.”

The judge also fined Harkness £250 and disqualified him from driving for a year.