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Larne drink driver told police he was Dermot O'Leary after crash

By Nevin Farrell

A drink driver told police he was the television presenter Dermot O'Leary after he crashed a car into a barrier near Larne harbour.

When police arrived at Redlands Road in the early hours of August 13 last year, Ryan Christopher Murphy had left the scene but he re-appeared and when officers asked him to identify himself he gave the name of the famous X Factor host.

Murphy (30), of Carson Street in Larne, appeared at Ballymena Magistates' Court on Thursday and admitted a number of charges in relation to the incident.

He was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £500.

A prosecutor said police responded to a road traffic collision involving a silver Toyota Corolla car which had struck a barrier and although nobody was at the scene an amount of blood had been left behind.

Police contacted the last registered owner of the vehicle who said the driver was Murphy.

Whilst awaiting recovery of the vehicle, police were approached by a man and when they asked him to identify himself he said he was "Dermot O'Leary".

Murphy then struggled with police and later told officers he had gone to a friend's house in Larne to go out drinking and had left the car there and denied being the driver.

He also claimed it was the police who had caused his injuries.

A defence lawyer said his client was now pleading guilty to all charges - including resisting police, driving whilst unfit, failing to provide a specimen of breath and failing to remain and report and an accident.

The lawyer said it is now accepted his client had taken a large amount of alcohol and made a "foolish" decision to drive to a filling station in the early hours.

He said Murphy apologised for his actions and said the defendant had resisted police due to his "high level of intoxication".

The lawyer said Murphy is a joiner but has been unemployed due to depression and anxiety.

District Judge Peter King said the defendant did himself no favours with his behaviour at the scene.

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