Sunderland nurse banned from roads after McDonald's staff called police over fears she was a drink driver

A nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital was banned from driving after McDonald’s staff believed she had been drinking.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 4:28 pm

Shelley Creighton, 33, pleaded guilty to failing to provide police with a breath specimen in the early hours of December 2 when they were called to the restaurant on the Roker Retail Park.

Ian Poppett, prosecuting at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, said at around 4am Creighton, who lives in the city’s Bede Street, had gone into the premises and staff were concerned she had been drinking so they called the police.

Mr Poppett said: “When the police arrived Ms Creighton was walking towards her car. She appeared to be unsteady on her feet.

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McDonald's Sunderland Retail Park, Roker
McDonald's Sunderland Retail Park, Roker

“She became abusive towards the police and refused to do the breath test.”

He said Creighton, who works as a nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital, was taken to the police station where she continued to be uncooperative.

A spokesman for the probation service said Creighton had gone to Newcastle on the afternoon before with friends and they returned to her home around 7pm and drank wine before the defendant fell asleep on the settee at 10.30pm.

He said: “She woke up in the early hours of the next morning and was hungry and the local McDonald’s is about half a mile away.”

The officer said she told him it was just a spur of the moment decision to drive there.

He said: “When the police arrived reality kicked in. She wasn’t being abusive but emotional and was a mess.”

Richard Copsey, defending, said his client had not had any alcohol for more than five hours before she drove the car.

He said: “I believe from having done this job for a long time, that had she taken the test she probably would have passed. It was just panic.

“She is really sorry for what she did.”

District Judge Kathryn Meeks, said: “There was a level of impairment and a deliberate refusal to provide a specimen.”

Creighton was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a surcharge of £150. She was banned from driving for 20 months.