Man lied to get car insurance

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Even though he was a disqualified driver a Banbridge man bought a car and lied about his driving record so he could get insurance.

Michael Gartland (50), Brookfield Road, was given a total of eight months in prison, suspended for three years, when he appeared last Thursday at the local magistrates courts.

A total of £100 in fines and three year bans were imposed for driving while disqualified, failing to remain, failing to report, driving with excess alcohol and not having insurance.

For withholding information to obtain insurance he was fined £100.

As well he was sentenced to four months in prison for driving while disqualified and a consecutive four month term was imposed for driving with excess alcohol. The sentences were suspended for three years.

The court heard that on August 11 last year at around midnight a witness heard a bang and on looking out of his window saw a car had crashed into his neighbour’s vehicle at Brookfield Road.

Police found the car nearby and went to speak to the defendant who was intoxicated. He was standing in his kitchen, wearing a coat and frying sausages. He said he had been in all night and no one else had driven the car.

The key to the car was on a ring with his house keys. He failed a preliminary breath test and at the station his lower reading was 81 in breath.

Gartland was examined and was not fit to be interviewed until eight the next morning. He made a full admission.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, pointed out that Gartland had lied about his record to get insurance.

A solicitor representing the defendant said he accepted he was alcohol dependent and had tried many times to give it up because he simply cannot manage alcohol.

He explained that Gartland bought the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and lied to get insurance. A direct debit was set up and some payment made.

The solicitor said the defendant only lived a short distance from the pub and the offences occurred on the way home when he hit a car which belonged to his neighbour.

He has apologised to his neighbour.