Cyclist spotted swerving over the road ‘had a few Buckfasts’

A cyclist spotted by police riding on the wrong side of the road without lights in the early hours of the morning nearly collided with a passing car, Dungannon Magistrates Court was told on Friday (August 12).

Ryan Beggs (28) of Frenchmans Lane, Dungannon, was fined a total of £525 with a £15 offender levy for riding the bicycle while unfit through drink or drugs, assaulting a police officer, disorderly behaviour, and possessing cannabis.

The court heard police were concerned about the welfare of Beggs, who appeared to be heavily intoxicated, in the forecourt of a petrol station at Ballygawley Road at 2.15am on January 19 2019.

Prosecuting counsel said the defendant got on a bicycle and rode off on the wrong side of the road swerving back and forth.

Dungannon Courthouse

She said it was dark and he had no lights on which posed a danger to himself and other road users and he nearly collided with a passing car.

On being spoken to he told police he was a “Protestant from the Shankill Road you black c****”, and attempted to head butt a sergeant.

The lawyer said Beggs later told police he had a few Buckfasts at a friend’s house and had not realised it was an offence to ride the bike.

Police searched the defendant and found a small quantity of cannabis in his pocket, she added.

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Defence lawyer Blaine Nugent said Beggs had “overreacted” and wished to apologise for his actions, and had in fact, done so to the police after he had calmed down.