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Man charged with killing friend while drink-driving

By Paul Higgins

Published 09/09/2016

Defendant: Curtis Drake
Defendant: Curtis Drake

A Banbridge man has appeared in court accused of killing his friend by careless driving while drunk.

Almost two years to the day since the accident which claimed the life of Craig Moates, his friend, 21-year-old Curtis Drake, stood in the dock of the town's Magistrates' Court and confirmed he was aware of the three charges against him.

Drake, from Brookfield Road in the town, is accused of causing death by driving carelessly and whilst unfit on the old Manse Road in Banbridge on September 9 2014.

He is further accused of causing death while driving with excess alcohol and causing death while driving without insurance.

Mr Moates, who was in his 20s, died of the injuries sustained in the 2am crash.

None of the facts surrounding the tragedy were opened in court yesterday, but a prosecuting lawyer submitted that the legal papers formed the basis of a prima facie case against Drake - a submission that his defence lawyer took no issue with.

The defendant was told he had the right to comment on the charges, give evidence to the preliminary enquiry or call witnesses in his behalf, but he declined.

District Judge Paul Copeland said he was satisfied there was a case to answer and in returning the case to Newry Crown Court released Drake on £750 bail and ordered him to appear there on October 13 for an arraignment.

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