Belfast Telegraph

Drunk man smashed into Northern Ireland restaurant while driving sister's car

The restaurant in Coalisland after the incident last year
The restaurant in Coalisland after the incident last year

By Staff Reporter

A man has admitted multiple charges relating to a serious hit-and-run motoring incident last Christmas after a car almost demolished a Co Tyrone restaurant.

Kevin Patrick Quinn (38) from Annaghmore Road, Coalisland, originally denied crashing his sister's car through the glass frontage of a restaurant on Boxing Day last year, before leaving the wreckage and making off on foot.

However, he changed his plea at Dungannon Magistrates Court and accepted driving with excess alcohol and without due care and attention, as well as failing to stop and remain at the scene.

The court heard police were called to the restaurant on Loughview Road, Coalisland, at around 11pm on the night in question, where the vehicle was found having collided with the premises.

There was no sign of the driver but officers were provided with a description of the clothing he was wearing as he fled.

Enquiries led them to Quinn's home and on looking through a window, he was observed asleep in bed.

A bundle of clothes matching the description provided were lying on the floor.

He was arrested, and while in custody provided an evidential breath specimen which returned a reading of 74mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath - over twice the legal limit.

During interview Quinn said the car belonged to his sister and claimed to have no recall of the incident or the days before it due to consuming alcohol.

Instead he maintained his first memory was on being woken by police.

Having heard the facts, District Judge Stephen Keown remarked: "This was a very serious incident, which was taken to the day of contest before deciding to admit guilt.

"There is very similar offending on record including drunken driving.

"I'm not prepared to deal with this in absence of a pre-sentence report."

Quinn was warned to co-operate with probation for the preparation of the report and is to attend for sentencing on November 6.

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