Driver guilty of 0.352 reading

A DRUNK driver who recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.352 had been returning home after dropping his son to football training, a court has heard.

Peter Lindley Murray, 55, of Trevallyn, faced the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday to contest charges of hindering conveyance and having driven under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

Murray had earlier pleaded guilty to having exceeded 0.05, after he was caught with a blood- alcohol concentration that was more than seven times the legal limit.

The court heard from three prosecution witnesses, including a husband and wife who gave evidence that they had seen Murray driving dangerously through the streets of Launceston on June 4 about 5.30pm.

Newnham Senior Sergeant Jason Jones also gave evidence about his arrest of Murray at his Delamere Crescent home and the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Magistrate Simon Brown cautioned Murray several times to keep quiet in court, after he yelled abuse, including obscene language, at prosecution witnesses who were giving evidence.

Murray's outbursts included "you're a friggin' idiot", "that's just bullshit" and "get it right before you friggin' say any more".

The disability pensioner also told the court that he had medical conditions including a "broken back" and "no feeling" in his feet.

"My wife is in jail for fraud and I'm trying to bring up two children," Murray said.

His appearance was slightly unkempt and he appeared to have large scars on his forehead and nose.

Murray represented himself in court and did not give evidence or call witnesses.

Mr Brown found Murray guilty of the two charges he had contested.

He will sentence Murray on February 21 at 2.15pm.

The couple who gave evidence for the prosecution told the court that their car was behind Murray for most of their trip, from the area of Hobart Road and the Kings Meadows Connector, until Murray pulled up in his Trevallyn driveway.

The wife, who was the front seat passenger, had filmed part of Murray's driving using her mobile phone video camera.

The video was played in court and it showed Murray's car veering outside its lane and having several close calls with large passing trucks.

The woman had also called police twice during their journey, because the couple feared that Murray would cause an accident.

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