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Omagh man with 424 previous convictions admits drink driving on wrong side of road

Malvern Dobbin (54) was arrested in the early hours of Friday after armed response officers stopped his car in Belfast city centre

The police vehicles damaged in the ramming

Christopher WoodhouseSunday Life

A serial road traffic offender who rammed police cars has admitted driving a car on the wrong side of the road while drunk, a court has heard.

Malvern Dobbin, who has 424 previous convictions including 281 for driving offences, was arrested in the early hours of Friday after armed response officers managed to stop his car in Belfast city centre.

The 54-year-old appeared before the city’s magistrates’ court today on five charges including dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, drunk and without insurance and failing to stop.

Objecting to the Omagh man being released on bail a police officer told the court Dobbin is banned from driving until February 2027.

The officer described him as a prolific road traffic offender who admitted during interview to driving on the wrong side of the road and going through three red lights on the Lisburn Road.

She also said he confessed that his driving was poor and he was going far too fast for that particular road.

Dobbin’s barrister said he had been given a lift from Omagh to Belfast on Friday to sell a puppy and was given the silver Audi car in lieu of cash payment which he had only reluctantly accepted.

He said Dobbin was driving the vehicle to a location to sell it for cash and when he was approached by police, he only made off because he mistook them for men who viciously attacked him earlier this year.

The barrister said Dobbin had served a four month prison sentence earlier this year and found jail life very hard.

He said Dobbin could be facing a lengthy period on remand if the case were to be dealt with by the Crown court.

Despite Dobbin’s lengthy alcohol-fuelled criminal record, bail conditions could be put in place to manage his behaviour, he said.

District Judge George Conner refused to release Dobbin, of Golan Villas in Omagh, stating he posed a serious risk to the public.

He is due to appear in court again via video-link on December 2.

A 30-year-old man arrested in relation to the incident was issued with a Community Resolution Notice.

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