Driver feared he had been ‘almost kidnapped’

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A man caught drink-driving claimed he was “almost kidnapped” when four men came out of a Portrush nightspot and climbed into his car parked near the door thinking it was a taxi, a court heard.

Cristian Temelie (31), of Ashton Drive, Coleraine, appeared at the town’s Magistrates Court where he admitted charges of driving whilst unfit and without insurance on July 15 this year and was banned from the road for a year and fined £400.

Defence solicitor Derwin Harvey said it was an unusual case and said the defendant, a Romanian, had driven to Portrush with the intention of leaving his car there overnight.

However, he then moved the car closer to the door of the nightspot to be safe and four men emerged from the premises and climbed inside thinking it was a taxi.

Mr Harvey said the quartet demanded to be taken to McNulty’s Bar in Coleraine and his client believed he was “almost kidnapped”.

The solicitor said his client later jumped out of the vehicle and started smashing up his own car with a golf club in an attempt to scare the men off.

Mr Harvey said his client now accepts he was “not under duress” to drive the car.