A man who refused to provide a specimen after being stopped by police has been disqualified from driving after being found guilty at Fermanagh Magistrates Court.

Harold Scott (64) of Littlemount Road, Maguiresbridge was stopped by police on February 4 of this year.

A further charge of driving when unfit through drink or drugs was withdrawn.

At around 12.40am on the night in question on the A4 road close to Brookeborough, police noted a slow moving Ford Ranger heading towards Maguiresbridge. The vehicle was driving between 30-40mph and veered on to the other side of the road.

Scott was stopped by police who observed he was red faced, was slurring his words and had a smell of intoxicating liquor.

The 64 year old failed a preliminary breath test and was taken to a custody suite where he refused to provide a specimen. At the custody suite there had been problems with the evidential specimen machine.

Scott’s defence barrister, Ciaran Roddy, told the court that this case had taken on a life of its own.

He said what happened in the evidential specimen room and what the CCTV showed what happened is accepted and there was issue taken there.

A protracted procession had arisen and the defendant had grown suspicious of the working order of the machine said Mr.Roddy, and in the cold light of day the defendant accepted it was proper to provide a specimen and if anything was to go awry he had all he needed to challenge the results.

Mr. Roddy added that what had happened had hamstrung the defence and Scott had given police suspicion to stop him.

Speaking about the impact the disqualification would have on his client’s life, Mr. Roddy said it would cause significant personal difficulties for Scott who was a lorry driver and also had a farming business.

He added that the defendant felt there were legal issues around the case and although he was advised to plead guilty, he was not aware of this until the Monday hearing.

District Judge Michael Ranaghan told Scott the aggravating factor in the case was the clear sign of impairment when he was stopped.

Taking into account his limited record and credit for his plea, he disqualified Scott for 16 months, certified him for a drink drivers course and imposed a fine of £200.