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Drink-drive bride-to-be who plunged over Portstewart seawall banned

 

Scene at the promenade in Portstewart on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, after a car plunged from the parking area, across the promenade and down to the sea and rocks below. Pic Margaret McLaughlin
Scene at the promenade in Portstewart on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, after a car plunged from the parking area, across the promenade and down to the sea and rocks below. Pic Margaret McLaughlin
The March 5 incident in which a car was driven onto rocks at Portstewart
Scene at the promenade in Portstewart on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, after a car plunged from the parking area, across the promenade and down to the sea and rocks below. Pic Margaret McLaughlin

By Sarah Henderson

A DRINK-driver who deliberately crashed her car onto rocks at a popular seaside resort has been banned from driving for 30 months and fined £500.

Bride-to-be Stacey Yates (32) was over three times the legal limit when her gold Citroen veered off the road, plunged over the seawall and landed on rocks on the Portstewart shoreline.

At the time of the accident on March 5 this year, it was reported that a woman in her thirties was helped from the car by an ambulance crew.

While the vehicle was left mangled, she was not injured and declined transport to the nearest A&E department. Firefighters helped to stabilise the vehicle and a crane was called to winch it back onto the road.

Police said at the time the woman was arrested on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol.

Yates, of Danes Hill Road in Coleraine, appeared at the town's magistrates court last week to be sentenced, having previously admitted the excess alcohol charge.

The court heard she had a reading of 108 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

A prosecution lawyer explained that police received a report of a car on rocks below the promenade at The Crescent in Portstewart.

A defence barrister said Yates was a "lady of good character" who was "totally embarrassed" that the incident had "attracted quite a significant amount of attention".

He described the case as "sad" and said his client had long-standing mental health issues.

On the day in question, the defendant tried to go off her medication and, at her "lowest ebb", decided to drive onto the rocks, the court heard.

The lawyer said it was a "deliberate action" and that no other cars were inconvenienced.

The barrister said it was accepted it was a high alcohol reading.

District Judge Peter King told the previous hearing he wanted a pre-sentence report due to the "very unusual set of circumstances".

At Monday's court it was heard that the defendant escaped with just a "bump" on her head.

She is due to marry this summer, it was said.

Judge King said the circumstances of the case were "stark" because the defendant had been more than three times the drink-drive limit.

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