Drink driver three times the limit when he crashed BMW

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

A drink driver crashed his car as he attempted to drive from Gateshead to Peterlee while more than three times the legal limit.

Richard Seddon, 38, who works with adults with learning disabilities, had been drinking heavily on September 23, magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said police came across Seddon’s damaged BMW at 6.20pm, after it crashed into metal barriers in Chowdene Bank, Low Fell.

Ms Beck said: “The driver was attempting to reverse the vehicle and the rear wheels were spinning.”

When asked if he had been drinking, he told officers: “Yes, I won’t lie. I’ve got no excuse.”

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Seddon had downed a litre and a half of ‘strong cider’ before getting behind the wheel.

Seddon was arrested and taken to Forth Banks Police Station in Newcastle.

He was breath tested and found to have 123 microgrammes or alcohol in 100millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

Ms Beck said: “The defendant was interviewed, during which he admitted driving the vehicle.

“He said he had been drinking strong cider.

“He had a three-litre bottle, of which he had drunk half.

“He said that when he crashed in Low Fell he was on his way to Peterlee via the A1.”

Seddon, of Morton Square, Peterlee, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol on Saturday, September 23.

He has no previous cautions or convictions, the magistrates were told.

A pre-sentence report which was referred to in court stated that Seddon is a senior support worker for men with learning disabilities and autism.

The report said Seddon knew he was lucky in that nobody had been harmed by his actions.

He was also expected to keep his job, as long as made other arrangements to get to work.

John Williams, defending, said: “He is of previous good character.

“This is a one-off. He describes it as a moment of madness.

“For 14 years, he’s held down a very demanding job.

“He is making a significant contribution to society.”

Seddon was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was banned from driving for three years and was told to pay £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.