A County Tyrone man, who caused the death of a great Donegal GAA supporter by careless driving, has been jailed for five years at Omagh Crown Court today.
50-year-old Paul Nicholl Carnkenny Road, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone who had two and a half times the legal drink drive alcohol limit, will serve two and a half years in jail with the remainder on licence on a charge of causing the death of Patrick Joseph McCroary by driving carelessly at Melmount Road, Sion Mills on January 8 2014.
The defendant was also given three concurrent sentences of three years and four months with one year and eight months on licence on charges of causing grievous bodily injury to Geraldine McCroary, Samantha McCroary and Padraig McCroary by driving carelessly with excess alcohol at the same venue and date.
61 year old Patrick McCroary had been living in Castlederg in Tyrone but was a native of Upper Alt, Castlefin.
In sentencing the defendant who had admitted the charges, Judge Paul Ramsey said it was a “sad and heart-breaking case.
The judge said he took into account the timely plead of guilt, the remorse, the lack of a driving record and the fact that he himself had sustained injuries but he couldn’t overlook the very high alcohol reading that was two and half times the legal limit.
The court also heard that Mrs Geraldine McCroary was unable to attend her husband’s funeral as her injuries kept her in Altnagelvin Hospital for three months.
Samantha and Padraig McCroary also sustained very serious injuries that had severely affected their lives.
An earlier sitting heard how the defendant had lost control of his Suzuki car after hitting a kerb and careering into a car Patsy McCroary, his wife and two children.
The defendant was attended by the emergency services and 12 cans of beer were found in his vehicle, the court heard.
He told police that he had drunk three cans of beer and a Diazepam tablet before getting behind the wheel.