DURHAM - A man suffering a cocaine-induced psychosis drove into the front entrance of a nursing home intending to take his life, a court was told.
Mark John McKinney reached “rock bottom” after he bought £500 worth of cocaine and began taking it as he drove aimlessly around in his Vauxhall Zafira. Durham Crown Court heard an emergency call was received by police at 2.10am from Kingsway Nursing Home in Langley Park, to report a Zafira embedded in its front porch. Both entrance area and the car were severely damaged and a large amount of white powder was found on the front driving seat.
McKinney was approached minutes later wandering around the village's Front Street intoxicated - with bags of white powder at his feet. Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said he made comments along the lines of: “I’ve just crashed my car into a wall and I’m on 15 grams a day.” He resisted the officers as he was detained but later admitted he had taken cocaine. McKinney said he was “clean” until 6pm the previous evening, when he bought 15g of the drug for £500, some of which he had taken. “He stated that he was just driving around. He heard voices and didn’t dare go home. He said the tyres punctured after he went over a big bump and he drove on intending to kill himself, so he deliberately drove into the care home entrance.”
Mr Dryden said the repair bill at the home came to £9,765 following the incident on November 19 last year. But manager Jude Goode said it caused major disruption and put a damper on Christmas celebrations as the home became, “a building site." McKinney, 27, of Burnhope Way, Peterlee, admitted dangerous driving, possessing cocaine, driving while unfit through drugs, without insurance and resisting arrest.
David Comb, mitigating, said psychiatric reports confirmed McKinney suffered cocaine-induced psychosis and hallucinations, having reached “rock bottom” as he relapsed on the class A drug. He added McKinney spent two months in a psychiatric facility and afterwards attended a drug rehabilitation centre and is now drug free and holding down a job.
Judge Robert Adams said the defendant was,“clearly suffering an overt mental illness at the time”, and accepted he intended to take his own life. He imposed ten month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, during which he must perform 200 hours’ unpaid work. McKinney was also banned from driving for a year.
The Northern Echo/Oct. 11, 2014
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