Compensation order after stag night antics

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A red-faced reveller who urinated in a Portrush hotel corridor during stag night celebrations has been ordered to pay compensation towards a new carpet.

Father-of-two Joseph Williamson, of Devenish Drive, Newtownabbey, appeared at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

He pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and a second matter of being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol in his breath.

The court heard how 45-year-old Williamson had been caught on camera urinating in a first-floor corridor in the early hours of February 4 this year. When challenged, he walked out of the premises.

Construction company worker Williamson was seen getting into the driver’s seat of a Ford Focus in Main Street which had its engine running and tail lights illuminated.

Amid concerns that he was going to drive, an eye witness recovered the keys from the vehicle and the police arrived at 1.30am.

Williamson failed a preliminary breath test and was arrested.

The defendant insisted that he had gone to the vehicle to get cigarettes.

He accepted urinating against a wall and on the hotel’s carpet, which had cost around £450 to replace.

In Williamson’s defence, the court heard that “positive references” handed in by his legal representative were “in sharp contrast to his behaviour” during the stag party celebrations which had caused him “acute embarrassment.”

“One embarrassing event had led to another,” the court heard.

Williamson had been intending to stay in a spare bed but couldn’t rouse his friend inside or find a toilet. He was filmed “pacing the corridors” before urinating in a corner.

Williamson had never intended to drive and had switched on the ignition to turn on the heating.

He was the main breadwinner for his family and needed his licence for his employment.

The court heard his friend had already paid £200 towards the cleaning bill which Williamson had repaid.

District Judge Liam McNally said: “This is a bad case; normally I would consider a ban of 12 months.”

He pointed out that Williamson was almost three times over the legal drink-driving limit.

“The bottom line is that I have a very strong suspicion that you would have driven that vehicle and that’s the reason you got into the car.”

He imposed fines totalling £300, banned Williamson from driving for four months “to mark the serious nature of the offences” and ordered Williamson to pay £250 compensation to the hotel.