Sunderland grandad found drunk in car with grandchild

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A MAN found to be drunk in his car with his four-year-old grandson could face jail.

Peter Askew had driven to Barnes Park car park with the youngster on Saturday, April 21, before consuming a quarter of a bottle of vodka.

The 43-year-old, of Whitchurch Close, Witherwack, was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when he was approached by officers who suspected something.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court: “He (Askew) was sitting in the seat and was in charge of his grandson.

“Officers asked him to give a sample test, to which he said “What is the point? I will fail”.”

At that point Askew was arrested by officers and charged with being drunk in charge of a child, as well as failure to provide a specimen while in charge of a vehicle.

“He said he didn’t realise that it was an offence to be drunk in charge of a child under seven,” added Mr Anderson.

“He was ignorant of the law, but this isn’t a defence.”

Susan Grey, defending Askew, said her client, who works as a machine operator, was “ashamed” of his actions.

Ms Grey said: “He has had a problem with drink and has also suffered the breakdown of a long-term relationship.

“He used to have a relationship with his grandson whereby his then-partner would come and meet them and drive the car back home.  “He tried to explain his position to the police. He didn’t feel that he was that drunk.

“I think that one thing led to another because he did not feel the police officers were listening to him.”

Askew pleaded guilty to both charges.

The case was adjourned so that a report could be prepared by the Probation Service for magistrates.

Chairman of the bench Chris Hutchinson told Askew he could not rule out the possibility of a custodial sentence.

He was also given an interim disqualification from driving.

Mr Hutchinson said: “We do believe that this was irresponsible act which could have had serious consequences.”

Askew was given conditional bail and will return to Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on May 29 for sentencing.

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