Man who publicly denied the murder of Lisa Dorrian convicted of multiple motor offences
Published 25/10/2009 | 15:18
A man who went public to deny involvement in the murder of Lisa Dorrian has got himself into trouble with the police — again. Drug dealer Mark Smyth has been banned from driving for five years and ordered to do 240 hours’ community service after being convicted of a drink-driving escapade.
The 27-year-old thug, who denied the drink-driving charge during an appearance at Belfast Magistrates' Court, was also fined £600.
In February 2006, Smyth told Sunday Life he had nothing to do with the murder of Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian.
He went public after being questioned by cops about her disappearance from a caravan park in Ballyhalbert in February 2005 — and after his name appeared in graffiti about the case.
Police released Smyth without charge.
He denied murdering 25-year-old Lisa whose body has never been found.
He said: “I didn't do it, I didn't kill her. If I have to take a lie detector test to prove this I will.
“I gave her a lift on the Saturday night before she went missing and then I went home to my bed.”
In March 2007, a short time after speaking to Sunday Life, Smyth was jailed for four years for drug dealing.
Cops investigating Lisa’s murder seized a boat Smyth owned that was moored on Strangford Lough.
Inside the vessel they discovered 1,200 ecstasy tablets, cannabis and half a kilo of speed.
Smyth was released from Maghaberry prison earlier this year under the 50 per cent remission rule, having completed just half of his drug-dealing sentence.
But within weeks of being freed he was back in trouble.
On February 15 police chased a car that braked hard to avoid a checkpoint at the junction of Belfast's Malone Road and Stranmillis Road.
Police found the vehicle parked in a cul-de-sac nearby with Smyth standing next to the bonnet.
When approached he denied being the driver and was aggressive towards officers.
He gave a fake name and told police he was looking for a house party, but was unable to say who was throwing the party or at what address.
After searching the area officers discovered the keys to the car 20-feet away. It later emerged that Smyth's house keys were attached to the car keys.
A breath test also revealed he was 11 points over the limit.
Despite pleading not guilty, Smyth was convicted of drink-driving, having no insurance, no test certificate, no license and obstructing police.
His solicitor said his client lied to police after panicking and had “dug a hole and kept digging”.
Although being subject to an early release probation order, Smyth, who now lives in the Bests Hill estate in south Belfast, avoided jail.
He was banned from driving for five years, ordered to do 240 hours’ community service and fined £600.