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Businessman banned for drink-driving after car crash on way home from charity sleep-out at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light

Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light

A businessman who crashed his car as he drove home from a charity sleep-out at the Stadium of Light while over the alcohol limit has been banned from the roads.

Recruitment boss Trevor Dudgeon had bedded down at Sunderland AFC’s home ground as part of Centrepoint’s Sleep Out project in November, South Tyneside magistrates heard.

However, he got behind the wheel to drive a friend home after she became “drunk and embarrassing”.

The 32-year-old was almost twice the legal alcohol limit when he lost control of his Mercedes A200 and crashed into trees on a roundabout on the A1018, the court was told.

Prosecutor Claire Urwin said: “This defendant was involved in a road traffic accident at 4.55am on November 3, last year.

“His vehicle left the carriageway near Seaburn and came to rest on the roundabout island, between two trees.

“There were two females trapped inside the vehicle.

“The defendant was lying on the ground next to the vehicle. He was taken to hospital.”

A blood test confirmed Dudgeon had 146 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of blood - the legal limit being 80.

He attended Middle Engine Lane police station on November 25, for an interview.

Ms Urwin said: “He told officers he had been to an event at the Stadium of Light.

“He left early due to a friend getting drunk and embarrassing.

“At the time, he’d had four pints to drink.

“He said he lost control on the roundabout and collided with the trees.”

Ms Urwin added: “This is heading towards twice the legal limit.

“This defendant has previous convictions, but he’s not been in court since 2010 and there is nothing of a similar nature.”

Dudgeon pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “Hindsight is a great thing.

“He accepts that on the night in question he shouldn’t have been driving.

“He had been to the Stadium of Light, supporting a charity event.

“His partner’s niece, unfortunately, had a bit too much to drink and asked him to take her home.

“He thought he was fine to drive and, unfortunately, this then occurred.

“The other people in the vehicle weren’t injured in any way.

“He is self-employed and he realises that he is not going to have s driving licence. It’s going to affect his business.”

Dudgeon, of Gorsedene Road, Whitley Bay, was fined £240 and was told to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

He was banned from driving for 19 months.