Northern Ireland news

Woman jailed for injuring man in drink-driving incident

The woman struck several parked cars before mounting the pavement and mowing down a pedestrian. Picture by Ann McManus

A 30-year old woman who struck several parked cars before mounting the pavement and mowing down a pedestrian in an early morning drink-driving incident in north Belfast has been jailed.

Lyndsay Michelle Strain was handed a two-year sentence by Judge David McFarland, who warned: "If you drink and drive you will lose your licence, but in addition to that, if you are involved in an accident that involves injury or death, then you will also lose your liberty."

Strain, from Meyrick Park in Belfast, was over twice the legal limit when she lost control of her car and crashed on Ballysillan Road, striking a man walking home at around 2.30am. She was told she will spend half the sentence in custody, followed by a year on licence, and was banned from driving for five years.

Belfast Crown Court heard the pedestrian suffered "catastrophic injuries" including the loss of his left eye, multiple fractures throughout his body and a punctured lung. He also had to undergo reconstructive surgery to his face and hand, requires ongoing surgery, is in "constant pain" and has suffered both financially and mentally.

Prosecuting barrister Rosemary Walsh said the collision occurred close to the Boys Model school at around 3am on April 22 last year. Whilst no-one saw the collision itself, two witnesses - a local resident and a taxi driver - both observed the aftermath.

Strain rang the emergency service from the scene, and was observed trying to move her badly damaged car after the collision. By the time police arrived, the injured man had been put in the recovery position, and was then rushed to hospital.

Strain was arrested and given a breath test, which indicated she was driving over two and a half times over the legal limit.

Defence barrister Sean Devine rejected suggestions Strain was trying to flee the scene.

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