A drunk driver who crashed into a traffic island on Londonderry's Craigavon Bridge leapt over the railings and fell 20 feet onto the ground in a failed bid to escape police, a court has heard.
Aaron Bradley pleaded guilty to driving a car without insurance, to obstructing the police, failing to provide a blood specimen and to driving with excess alcohol.
The case was heard at Londonderry Magistrates Court yesterday.
Bradley (24), who is from Co Donegal, works in the construction industry as a labourer in England. His address was given as Nursery Road, Tunbridge Wells in Kent.
He committed the offences last March 9.
A solicitor for the Public Prosecution Service told District Judge Barney McElholm that on that date police officers had been tasked to Craigavon Bridge following reports of three men running from a BMW car after the vehicle had crashed into a traffic island on the Waterside end of the bridge.
One man, Bradley, was recorded by CCTV running from the burning car in the direction of Duke Street.
When police caught up with and spoke to Bradley, they could smell alcohol on his breath.
A preliminary breath returned a reading of 76mg of alcohol per 100ml breath, just over twice the legal limit for driving (35mg/100ml).
As he was about to be arrested, Bradley ran towards and jumped over the railings.
He was then taken to Altnagelvin Hospital by police officers and treated for minor bruising but he refused to give a blood specimen.
A defence barrister said Bradley, who had no previous convictions, returned to Derry to go to a party.
He had not intended to drink alcohol, the barrister explained, but as the party went, on he consumed several amounts of alcohol before leaving with the intention of driving home.
"He did not cover himself in glory," the barrister told the court.
"He was very lucky that having fallen 20 feet off the side of Craigavon Bridge that he didn't do himself very serious damage.
"He clipped the traffic island and when he saw the police he panicked as is illustrated by the fact that he threw himself off the side of the bridge.
"He is very fortunate that he did not sustain permanent injuries", the barrister added.
After hearing the arguments, the District Judge fined Bradley £550 and disqualified him from driving for 15 months.