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Road ban Boozed-up driver ran at teenagers with angle grinder for 'a laugh'

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Ciaran Magee chats to our reporter this week

Ciaran Magee chats to our reporter this week

Fright: Newry city centre this week

Fright: Newry city centre this week

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Ciaran Magee chats to our reporter this week

This is the drink-driving nutter who ran at a bunch of teenagers with his angle-grinder going full tilt.

Ciaran Magee was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £500 following the bizarre incident which took place in the centre of Newry on August 9.

The 26-year-old, of Turnavall Road, admitted to police after he was arrested that it was all a “bit nuts”.

Fitness fanatic Magee had been driving his car while more than twice the drink-drive limit when he came upon a group of young people in the street.

Thinking it would be a laugh, he took out the potentially dangerous power tool and ran towards the group of youths – who apparently didn’t find it much fun at all.

This week we called at his home to ask him what he was thinking about.

He told us: “I’m not going to get into it, I don’t want to be in the paper, but I can tell you the whole thing was taken completely out of context.”

An angle grinder is a hand-held power tool that can be used for a variety of metal fabrication jobs that include cutting, grinding, deburring, finishing and polishing.

The most common types of angle grinders are powered by electricity; either corded or battery-powered but they can be unstable and can cause severe injury if not handled properly.

Sources in Newry who know Magee told the Sunday World he was “scundered” by his behaviour.

“There’s not a bad bone in his body,” said one lad who knows him. “Ciaran’s a great lad who loves keeping fit and dance music.

“He loves a practical joke and having a laugh and he just had a few too many and misjudged this one. His family is highly respected in the area so it’s all been a bit of an embarrassment for Ciaran.

Dangerous

“There’s no doubt it was a mad thing to do. Anyone who has worked with an angle grinder knows how dangerous they can be. They certainly shouldn’t be used as a toy when you’ve been drinking.”

Newry Magistrates Court heard details of the shocking incident this week.

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Fright: Newry city centre this week

Fright: Newry city centre this week

Fright: Newry city centre this week

His barrister Conor Byrne told the court: “He thought that it was a bit of a laugh at the time, but it was obviously not a laughing matter for these young individuals.”

Already by then Magee had pleas of guilty entered on his behalf to driving with excess alcohol, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and disorderly behaviour.

According to the prosecution, police received a report on the day in question at around 8.30pm of two males, one of whom had been driving, in an intoxicated state on Hill Street in Newry.

The concerned member of the public who made the call said they had seen Magee pushing an Audi vehicle, which had been driving around with its horn constantly blasting.

They alleged that Magee then lifted an electric angle grinder from the vehicle, which he turned on and ran towards them with it in his hands. Officers arrested Magee shortly after and they seized the angle grinder which was found in the Audi and conducted a preliminary breath test which Magee failed.

The court was told that when interviewed, Magee made genuine and full admissions and apologised for his actions.

Defence barrister Conor Byrne stated: “This is strange and out of character. He had gone to move his car, which was the wrong thing to do and he had driven on Hill Street.

“In a joking manner, he had taken the angle grinder which was in his vehicle and ran toward these young individuals. During interview, he comments that he did not intend to intimidate them and accepts it all sounds a bit nuts now.”

He added: “He thought that it was a bit of a laugh at the time, but it was obviously not a laughing matter for these young individuals.”

District Judge Eamonn King disqualified Magee from driving for 12 months and ordered that he pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

He was certified for the drink-driving course which would see his ban reduced to nine months.

steven.moore@sundayworld.com

Online Editors


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