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Sunderland man hit with road ban after being caught over the limit after trip to bookies

A Sunderland man has been hit with a road ban after he drove in his car to the bookies while over the limit, a court heard.

By Gareth Crickmer
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 11:28 am

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Philip Roberts, 64, parked at Asda’s store in Pennywell, and went into a nearby Coral betting outlet on Friday, April 15.

But a supermarket security guard had reason to be suspicious of Roberts, of Parkhurst Road, also Pennywell, and called police.

They arrived to find him staggering towards his home just 100m away – and a breath test showed he was over twice the limit.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

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He is starting a three-year roads’ ban after magistrates in South Tyneside heard he had committed the same offence in 2001 and 2015.

Prosecutor Claire Armstrong said: “A witness was working at Asda when he was made aware that some items from the store had been placed behind the defendant’s car.

“He located the defendant’s car and noticed it was poorly parked, and he located the defendant, who was heavily drunk, in a Coral bookmaker.

“The witness spoke to him about the items behind his vehicle and the defendant said he would resolve the issue once he had done his bet.

“He was concerned that the defendant was under the influence, and contacted the police.

“He asked the defendant for the car keys. There was a verbal argument, but he handed over the keys.”

Miss Armstrong said police arrived to find Roberts “staggering” towards his home, and arrested him.

A breath test showed 87mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath, against a legal limit of 35mcg.

Roberts, who defended himself in court, admitted he had been consuming too much alcohol following a bereavement.

But he denied staggering because of alcohol, instead claiming he suffered from arthritis and had left his walking stick in his car.

He added: “I take full responsibility for having too much to drink, I shouldn’t have driven. I wont’t drive again.”

Magistrates also fined Roberts £120, along with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

John Fleet, chair of the bench, told him: “A salutary lesson, I’m afraid. The end of your driving career.”