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Northern Ireland drink driver denied bail after his fourth arrest in a month

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A man arrested for drink driving four times in little over a month was refused bail yesterday because of the risk he could pose to the public if freed

A man arrested for drink driving four times in little over a month was refused bail yesterday because of the risk he could pose to the public if freed

A man arrested for drink driving four times in little over a month was refused bail yesterday because of the risk he could pose to the public if freed

A man arrested for drink driving four times in little over a month was refused bail yesterday because of the risk he could pose to the public if freed.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was "very concerned" about 58-year-old's Christopher McGuigan's offending.

"I believe there's a real risk, if he were to be released back to the community, that he would repeat this offending. That would cause an unwarranted risk to other members of the public," said the Newry Magistrates Court judge, sitting in Lisburn.

McGuigan, from Aughrim Court in Kilkeel, appeared in court via videolink from custody and admitted a charge of driving while unfit in a supermarket car park on Tuesday.

A police constable told the court that staff at the Asda supermarket in Kilkeel alerted the PSNI at 9.30am to a suspected drink driver after McGuigan bought alcohol and drove off in a white camper van.

Police officers arrested the defendant at his home a short time later.

A subsequent breath test showed he was more than four times the legal limit.

The constable explained that by going into an off-licence, McGuigan had been in breach of bail conditions in relation to charges of harassment, intimidation and breach of a restraining order over a case in which sentencing is expected next month.

She also told the court that the incident on Tuesday was the fourth time McGuigan had been arrested for driving while unfit.

She explained that he had also been detained on March 25, April 13 and April 19.

When he was arrested in March, a breath test showed he was more than six times the legal limit.

The court was told that "because of the level of intoxication, he couldn't provide an evidential sample" of breath on the other two occasions, so a sample of blood had to be taken.

"I have serious concerns that if released he will continue to drive," said the officer.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor John Rocks told the court McGuigan was a "recovering alcoholic" who had been sober for almost 18 years.

He admitted, however, that his client had returned to drinking over the last few weeks.

"I would argue that the lockdown is having a monumental effect on him and his mental health," said Mr Rocks, who also argued that his client should be freed, albeit under "stringent bail conditions".

Refusing bail and remanding McGuigan into custody, Judge Broderick ordered a pre-sentence probation report and said he would pass sentence on the most recent driving while unfit charge and the harassment case next month.

Belfast Telegraph