Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man banned from driving 'took partner's car and crashed into two vehicles'

A west Belfast man banned from driving for life allegedly took his partner's car and crashed it into two vehicles before fleeing, the High Court heard today.

Henry Christopher Marley looked so drunk when he left the scene that he didn't know what he was doing, according to a witness.

The 31-year-old, of Riverdale Park South in the city, was said to have admitted involvement but claims to have acted under duress.

Marley faces charges of aggravated vehicle taking, driving while unfit, driving while disqualified, failing to report or remain at the scene of an accident and possession of Class C drugs.

He was refused bail despite claiming he should be released due to delays in the case.

The court heard he is alleged to have crashed into two stationery cars near his home in March this year.

Tessa Kitson, prosecuting, said the vehicle he was driving was wedged between one of them and a garden wall.

"A witness confirmed the driver was very much under the influence of drink or drugs. He appeared so drunk he didn't know what he was doing," she told the court.

It was alleged that the driver left the scene with the keys.

Marley was arrested after police traced the car to the home of his partner, who said she was unaware he had taken it, Mrs Kitson added.

She said five blue tablets, later confirmed as diazepam, were found on him.

During interview he claimed to have taken the car because he feared for his life.

Defence counsel Kelly Doherty confirmed he has made admissions but intends to raise a defence of duress at trial.

She argued that Marley should be released when a suitable address is available due to the length of time being taken to progress the case, claiming the delay was unacceptable.

But Mr Justice Horner refused the application after being told a preliminary enquiry hearing will be held later this week.

He said: "The balance comes down in favour of not granting bail in this case."
 

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