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I can't give blood sample -- I'm scared of needles, says the nurse facing a drunken driving charge

A psychiatric nurse who refused to allow a doctor to take a blood sample from him after he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving has claimed that he has a phobia of needles.

Patrick McCaffrey (36) claimed he was waiting for over two hours for the doctor to arrive to take a urine sample from him -- and that by the time the doctor arrived in Swords Garda Station he was unable to urinate.

He said he had had a fear of needles since he was a child, and that using needles as part of his job as a nurse was very different to him personally having a needle inserted into his arm.

McCaffrey, of Seaview Park in Portrane, denied before Swords District Court that he refused to provide a blood or urine sample to gardai.

He said he also offered to provide a breath specimen, but was told there were no gardai trained in the use of the breathalyser working in north Dublin at the time.

Garda Amanda King said she stopped McCaffrey on Malahide Road, Swords, shortly after 3am on September 14, on suspicion of drunken driving. She said McCaffrey was taken to Swords Garda Station, and the doctor was called to take a blood or urine sample.

Garda King said the doctor, Dr Khan, did not arrive until 5am, two hours after McCaffrey arrived at the station. The court heard that McCaffrey urinated twice while he was waiting for the doctor, but that when he was asked to provide a urine sample at 5.05am he was unable to do so.

He was given 12 minutes to provide a urine sample.

Dr Khan said McCaffrey refused to allow him take a blood sample as he said he was afraid of needles.

In his evidence, McCaffrey said he thought he was waiting a long time for the doctor to arrive, and that he was not given much time to provide a urine sample.

He said he wanted to co-operate with gardai, and did not want to frustrate them, but that he could not provide a urine sample.

Judge Patrick Brady adjourned the matter for three weeks for a decision.