A 42-year-old man who admitted causing death by dangerous driving has been remanded in custody .ahead of sentencing later this month.

Vladimar Kovac from Carrowshee Park, Lisnaskea was found to have been “intoxicated, driving aggressively, at high speed and with the vacillator fully depressed” at the time of the horrific impact.

The victim, Barry McManus who had just become a father for the second time, was killed instantly by the impact on June 11, 2022, which “cruelly” was his wife’s birthday.

His vehicle, a Renault Megane, was on the hard shoulder of the Belfast Road, Brookeborough when it was struck by Kovac’s Volkswagen Golf.

Records showed he was using his phone in the time up to the collision and was still talking on it when police arrived, telling them he was informing his wife of the crash saying: “She doesn’t believe me.”

In harrowing detail, prosecution counsel told Dungannon Crown Court when police attended with the victim’s wife to inform her of his death, she answered the door holding their three-week-old son in her arms.

“Given her level of distress as this news was delivered, an officer had to take the baby from her, and nurse him until her parents arrived to support her,” said the prosecution.

The section of the road had a 60mph limit and collision experts ascertained Kovac’s car “came right across the opposite side of the road and into the hard shoulder, rotated clockwise and travelled some 70 metres down the carriageway. The victim’s car was forced backwards, rotated clockwise and came to rest in a hedge.”

Analysis revealed Kovac’s accelerator pedal was fully depressed for five seconds before the collision, increasing the speed from 80mph to 95mph in that short time.

No braking activity was recorded with only a “relatively small steering input”.

Kovac was taken to hospital and while there a doctor confirmed he was stable and a blood sample could be taken for alcohol analysis.

This returned a positive reading and an expert conducted a back-calculation which estimated Kovac had a relevant blood alcohol at the time of the collision.

Having been discharged from hospital he was arrested and during the interview claimed to have had an argument with his wife who was “following him around the house and shouting at him”.

He began consuming alcohol, accepting he had “at least five glasses of vodka”, then went for a walk before getting into his car to listen to music.

His wife began ringing him so he drove off claiming to be “under so much pressure”.

Prosecution counsel pointed out that while able to recall these parts of the night, Kovac was “unable to give an account of the collision or explain how it occurred”.

He later claimed to have been blinded by the headlights of a lorry and then said he thought the victim’s car was approaching him “straight-on”.

Kovac said the argument with his wife had made him angry and “he may have pushed on the gas a bit more … but couldn’t explain how his car had ended up the whole way across the opposing lane”.

When asked how he felt about his actions, Kovac replied: “Very bad. My life turned 180 degrees.”

He accepted speed was a factor but denied alcohol was.

The prosecution referred to a Victim Impact Statement provided by Mr. McManus’ wife: “Speaking of the devastating loss caused by the events of days.

In the most cruel coincidences that is Mrs. McManus’ birthday. She also tells of the difficulty in seeing the defendant and his family in the locality when her husband is gone, along with the challenges brought by her being alone with their two young children.”

Mr. McManus’ daughter also provided “a heartrending note” to the court.

Judge Richard Greene KC advised he wished to reflect on the case and addressing Kovac directly, said: “This is a case in which the sentence will be measured in years and very probably a significant number of years. Given the inevitable outcome, you will be remanded in custody.”

Sentencing is to take place on October 27.