Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 17:20 UK

Drunk-driver given jail sentence

Gavel

A drunk-driver who stole his wife's car and left it in a ditch at the Westlink roadworks has been jailed for nine months.

The judge at Belfast Crown Court told James Robert McConachie, 49, of Jenny's Lane in Portavogie that he had "exposed the public to danger".

The court was told that a member of the public called police on 12 August 2007 after spotting the car in the ditch.

Officers at the scene saw McConachie nearby in an apparent drunken state.

A prosecution lawyer said that after he was arrested and handcuffed, McConachie tried to headbutt one of the officers, adding that he was a disqualified driver and had also taken his wife's car without her consent.

The lawyer also revealed that McConachie has 29 previous road traffic offences including nine for driving while disqualified.

In total, McConachie pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, driving with insurance, driving while unfit, taking and driving away and assaulting police.

As well as the receiving the jail sentence and a one-year probation term, Judge Burgess banned McConachie from driving for seven years.

He also told him that he was "getting close" to receiving a life time ban.





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