Belfast Telegraph

Appeal judge extends drug crash driver Anthony Lawn's sentence

By Staff Reporter

A driver who turned his car on its side while under the influence of drugs saw his court appeal backfire when the outraged judge increased his sentence.

Anthony Lawn (44) of Bridgend, Coagh, was attempting to have a six-month prison sentence suspended or replaced by a Probation Order.

Police discovered Lawn standing upright in his car as it lay on the Cloghog Road in Cookstown on December 15.

As he was helped out, a strong smell of cannabis was noted, and police found some of the drug in the car. Lawn provided a blood sample that revealed a "cocktail of drugs" including cocaine, Prozac, diazepam, cannabis and Benzocaine.

At Dungannon Magistrates Court last month Lawn admitted being unfit to drive and possessing cannabis. This put him in breach of a suspended sentence for previous offending, and he was jailed for a total of six months and banned from driving for five years.

Lawn mounted an appeal at Dungannon County Court.

Yesterday, his barrister told Judge Stephen Fowler QC that the public would be protected because of the ban in place and that "prison does not work. Short sentences do not work".

But the judge said: "This is a case involving a cocktail of drugs which rendered him incapable, but he got behind the wheel. It is only by the grace of God he did not crash into someone else. I take the view an increase in the sentence imposed is appropriate."

The appeal was dismissed and the judge added a further month to the prison sentence.

Belfast Telegraph

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