Judge uses interpreter to tell drink driver ‘you are a menace and a danger to other road users’

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District Judge Peter King said he would not allow a man to drive after bail was fixed to appeal a four months jail term because his “concern is he could kill somebody over the Christmas period”.

The judge was speaking after he jailed Jozef Siemenczuk (58), of Dunclug Gardens, Ballymena, and banned him from driving for three years.

The defendant had pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle at Ballymoney Street, Ballymena, after 1am on April 3 this year.

He also admitted other charges of absence of insurance; failing to provide a specimen of breath and failing to tell roads chiefs of a change of vehicle ownership.

A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court police received a report of a man attempting to drive a car and upon arrival they found he was in the driver seat with vomit on the seat, door and on the ground.

He was unsteady on his feet with his eyes glazed and he refused to provide a breath sample.

Defence barrister Michael Smith said: “Thankfully he didn’t manage to drive”.

Judge King said the defendant had 24 convictions in Northern Ireland, the vast majority for driving offences.

He told Siemenczuk through an interpreter: “It is quite clear you are a menace and a danger to road users and to date there has been very little the court could to ensure the safety of road users”.

He said the defendant had received a suspended prison term last year and was convicted of further offences this year and he said in order to protect every day road users in Ballymena from Siemenczuk he had no alternative but to jail him for four months.

The defendant, who was also fined £150, was released on his own bail of £500 pending appeal and is not allowed to drive in the mean time.