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Driver wins her breath test case

A WOMAN charged with refusing to provide a breath specimen for alleged drink driving after she was unable to do so due to a cough and chest infection was correctly cleared of the offence, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The court heard the decision will affect a large number of similar cases, with one judge saying it was "a monument to the DPP's policy of seeking to convict on a technicality".

The case arose out of the arrest of Maresa Cagney (39), of Seamount, Mount Merrion, Dublin, on suspicion of drink driving at Merrion Row on August 13, 2004.

The DPP had asked that the case be referred to the Supreme Court to clarify the law.

21 die in China

mine disaster

AT Least 21 Chinese coal miners have been killed and four more are missing following an accident in Guizhou province.

Another 58 miners managed to escape.

China's mines have long been the world's deadliest, although the government announced last month that the death toll fell by more than 30pc last year to 1,384 as a result of stricter management.

State executes

rampage killer

A man convicted of committing three murders in three US states during a 10-day rampage has been executed in Oklahoma.

"I don't deserve it, but as God has forgiven me, I hope you will forgive me for the pain I've caused," Steven Thacker (42) said while strapped to a hospital trolley at Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Thacker waived his right to ask for clemency from the parole board last month.

Couple's $4m phone racket

A California couple are said to have made nearly $4m (€3m) in eight months by collecting hundreds of stolen smartphones, then selling them in Hong Kong for as much as $2,000 (€1,500) each.

Shou Lin Wen (39) and his wife Yuting Tan (27) did not enter a plea when they appeared at Sacramento County Superior Court on eight felony counts of money laundering, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy.