Belfast Telegraph

Antrim drink-driver Colin Brown involved in head-on smash spared jail term

By Nevin Farrell

A Co Antrim man who caused a serious head-on collision after sinking six pints of beer has avoided jail after appealing his sentence.

Colin Brown (48), an electrician of Kilmandil Road, Dunloy, told officers he had been at the Scenic Inn near Armoy on September 30, 2016.

He was given a four month jail term at Coleraine Magistrates Court last month by District Judge Liam McNally, who said: "This is as bad a case I have come across."

It was heard that Brown's Audi had been involved in a head-on crash after crossing the Drones Road into the path of oncoming traffic.

Two men and a woman were injured, with one man hitting his head on a window and another suffering rib injuries. The female casualty had friction burns and a broken wrist which required surgery and she has been left with grip limitations.

When police officers spoke to Brown they could smell alcohol on his breath. He was slipping in and out of consciousness and a blood sample showed a reading of 247mgs of alcohol per 100ml of blood - more than three times the limit.

Brown said he had downed six pints of beer in a bar and couldn't remember what happened next.

A defence barrister said the defendant had been treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital for eight weeks following the crash after suffering "quite horrendous injuries".

He realised his client was at risk of being sent to prison but the defendant had co-operated fully with investigators. Brown had a relevant record from 14 years ago.

Mr McNally had told Brown: "This is an appalling case where you consumed, on your own admission, at least six pints. I suspect it was more because your reading was three times the legal limit.

"In that condition you took a vehicle onto the road when the inevitable happens.

"You collided with another vehicle and caused serious injuries; you are very fortunate that there wasn't a fatality."

Originally, Brown was jailed for four months and banned from driving for two years, but was released on £500 bail, pending appeal.

At his appeal in the county court in Coleraine yesterday, Brown's jail term was replaced with a one year Probation Order and he was also ordered to do 80 hours community service.

The driving ban was reduced to 18 months. The defendant will have to re-sit his driving test when the ban is up.

Belfast Telegraph


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