Sunderland man banned from driving after being found near crashed car and refusing to take a breath test

A Sunderland man who was spotted by police close to his crashed car has been banned from driving for 28months for failing to take a breath test.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 9:40 am

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Michael Kelly, 32, of Oxford Square, Pallion, was seen walking away from the vehicle.

It had smashed into a wall in Thorney Close Road, Sunderland, on Saturday, November 16, they were told.

Despite not being seen behind the wheel, officers suspected him of having been driving at the time of the accident and of being drunk.

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Picture from Google Streetview of Thorney Close Road in Sunderland, where Mr Kelly was spotted.

The court heard Kelly was obstructive and aggressive when stopped by the officers. Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “The vehicle registered to Mr Kelly is involved in a road traffic accident.

“The police arrive at the scene and find that a vehicle has crashed, and the registered keeper is Mr Kelly.

“He is seen walking away, but is not seen driving it. He is staggering, they have a suspicion that he has been driving.

“He’s up front with the police and says he won’t deal with them unless his solicitor arrives. He is charged with the offence that he is before the court today.”

Ian Martin, defending, said: “The facts speak for themselves. Yes, there’s a deliberate refusal, but there’s no indication of a high level of impairment.”

As well as the driving ban, Kelly, who pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for analysis, was handed a 12-month community order with the provision of 10 rehabilitations days and 120 hours of unpaid work. He must pay £85 court costs and a £90 victim surcharge.