Sunderland domestic abuse victim caught drink-driving by police officer taking statement

Edgmond Court, Hollycarrside Sunderland
Edgmond Court, Hollycarrside Sunderland

A man has lost his job after he was caught drink driving by a police officer who came to take a statement about domestic abuse directed at him by his ex-girlfriend.

Robert Burnett, 25, was just short of three times the legal limit when he was breathalysed on September 7, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Edgmond Court, Hollycarrside Sunderland

Edgmond Court, Hollycarrside Sunderland

The telecommunications engineer had arrived home late for his appointment with police and an officer noticed he was drunk when he pulled up in his car, the court was told.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “A police officer on mobile patrol attended Mr Burnett’s home address.

“He had been the victim of a crime and a time had been arranged for the officer to come and talk to the him.

“On knocking on the door there was no reply at the address.

At this stage he has no prospect of work whatsoever

Ian Cruickshank

“The officer’s attention was drawn to a red Vauxhall Astra motor vehicle around the corner.

“Mr Burnett got out of the vehicle and apologised for being late.

“He was slurring his words whilst engaging in conversation and the officer got the impression that he was drunk.”

Burnett was arrested and taken to a police station, where he tested 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.

Burnett, of Edgmond Court, Hollycarrside, admitted driving with excess alcohol. He has no previous convictions the court heard.

Ian Cruickshank, defending, said: “This is a man who has not been before the court before

“Mr Burnett is 25 years of age and sometime before, he had parted with his partner – the mother of his child – and had made a complaint of physical abuse being made towards him by her.

“This happened due to the state he was in. He has been in this abusive relationship and his family said something had to happen because he was under so much stress.

“He works as a telecommunications engineer throughout the United Kingdom. That work now is lost to him as he will no-longer be able to drive.

“It is a conviction that may well count against him, given that he’s always had a job, which requires driving.

“At this stage he has no prospect of work whatsoever.

“There was nothing wrong with the manner of his driving, there were no aggravating features

“The officer talked to him for 30 minutes about the situation with his partner, then they said ‘can you blow into this?’”

Burnett was banned from driving for two years and was fined £213 with a £31 surcharge.