Lisburn driver hit a bollard

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A 47-year-old man who refused to co-operate with police after he was arrested for a drink driving offence was given suspended prison sentences last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

He was Harvey Brian Gourley, Laurel Hill Road, Lisburn, and he admitted the offences which happened on November 14 last year.

A five month term was imposed for driving while disqualified and he was also fined £300 and banned from driving for five years.

He was sentenced to three months in custody for not having insurance while one month terms were imposed for failing to provide a sample, obstructing a constable and driving while unfit.

All the sentences are to run concurrently and were suspended for three years.

The court heard that police were at the BP garage on the Dromore Road, Banbridge, when they saw a car strike a bollard in front of the shop.

The defendant was in the driver’s seat and there was a smell of alcohol on his breath. He admitted he was disqualified from driving.

In custody he complained of chest pains and needed to see a doctor. He was taken to Craigavon hospital and was asked by a doctor for a blood test.

Gourley became extremely irate and refused point blank saying he was terrified of needles although it was observed there were a number of tattoos on his body.

He refused to co-operate with medical staff and when he was told he was being discharged he refused to leave the hospital.

The defendant was conveyed back to the police station where he refused to provide a specimen.

A barrister representing Gourley said that in 2012 he had been involved in a serious road incident and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

He added that his client had to leave his employment and suffered bouts of depression and was binge drinking.

He asked the court to leave something hanging over the defendant’s head.

Deputy District Judge John Connolly said it was ‘an exceptional case’ but because of the medical evidence he would not impose immediate custody.