Tyrone drink-driver who crashed car and walked home, told police ‘So what’

Drink driving charge
Drink driving charge

A judge has urged the prosecution service to add a further charge to a list of offences against a woman who crashed her car whilst drunk, then left the scene leaving the vehicle in a dangerous position on the road.

East Tyrone Magistrates Court heard police were tasked to Eglish on September 19 to a report of a car on its roof with a woman standing shouting at it.

On arrival police were told the woman, Patricia Donaghy (43) from Cadian Road, Eglish had left the scene and walked to her home nearby. Officers called at the house and on speaking to Donaghy noted she was intoxicated.

She refused to provide a preliminary breath specimen and became abusive and aggressive.

As she was being escorted to the police car, she shouted out to neighbours for help, claiming officers were abusing her.

Once in custody she again refused to provide an evidential specimen of breath. Meanwhile, police were in the process of having the smashed car removed from the road, and recovered a mobile phone from inside the vehicle.

This was shown to Donaghy during interview and she admitted it was hers, but made “no comment” replies to all other questions. She was also found to have had no insurance and was a provisional driver with no L Plates displayed and had been unaccompanied.

In total Donaghy was charged with eight offences including driving whilst unfit and failing to stop and report after an accident had occurred in which damage was caused.

The court was told she made a number of comments to police, whilst under caution.

She said, “Nobody died. So what? I crashed in a country lane. I hit a pothole and the car overturned. So what?” It was also established Donaghy had only obtained the provisional driving licence three months before the incident. Refusing to proceed without pre-sentence reports District Judge John Meehan noted, “The car was left lying on its roof which is highly dangerous. Why is there no charge on that point?”

Adjourning sentencing until January 28, Judge Meehan urged the prosecution to “focus” their attention on an additional charge in respect of abandoning a vehicle causing danger.