Drink-driving policeman crashed into garden

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A drink-driving policeman crashed into a front garden while out looking for his wife, a court has heard.

Edward Magill got behind the wheel after a night out in Whitehead, Co Antrim ended in a row between the couple, his lawyer said.

The 54-year-old, whose address was given as PSNI Springfield Road in Belfast, was banned from driving for 12 months.

Magill, described as having a 25-year police career, was arrested in the early hours of July 30.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard his car had been driven into the front garden of a house on the Ballystrudder Road between Whitehead and Islandmagee.

Officers arrived at the scene to find him standing beside the substantially damaged vehicle.

A prosecution lawyer said: “When approached he stated that he had been drinking and has ‘messed up’.”

Breath tests confirmed Magill was over the legal limit.

With Magill pleading guilty to driving with excess alcohol, District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told of his remorse at his actions.

A defence lawyer explained that her client and his wife had gone out for the night, leaving their car behind.

Following an argument the couple parted and Magill went home.

He woke later, discovered his wife wasn’t present and got into the car in a bid to find her, the court heard.

“It was a huge mistake,” his lawyer acknowledged.

“He has been working as a police officer for 25 years, a long service with many commendations and a completely clear record.”

Imposing the disqualification period, Mrs Bagnall also ordered Magill to pay a £250 fine.