Drink driver was trapped under overturned car as he tried to flip it back

A drink driver became trapped under an overturned car after he tried to right it after crashing on a roundabout.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 21st November 2016, 12:27 pm
Warren Duffy, 35, of Cooperative Terrace, Concord, Washington.

Warren Duffy, 35, had to be rescued by fire fighters when the car he had taken from his brother fell on top of him, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Now, Duffy, who does not hold a driving licence and who was not insured at the time, has been sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for a year.

Vermount roundabout, Washington

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The court heard the incident took place around half a mile from Duffy’s home in Concord, after he lost control on a roundabout on the A195 Northumberland Way, in Washington, on October 30.

Warren Duffy and his passenger, brother Lee, who was trying to stop him taking the car, escaped unscathed.

However, as the pair tried to turn the vehicle back on its four wheels, it fell on top of Warren Duffy.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “He got trapped under the vehicle – a Proton – which was on its side and he was freed by the fire service.”

Vermount roundabout, Washington

A breath test showed Warren Duffy had 49 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35.

“Mr Duffy told police he was drunk and was a banned driver,” Ms Beck said. “He had taken the car – his brother’s car – flipping the car.”

The court heard Warren Duffy said his brother had nothing to do with the incident, and had simply tried to stop him driving the car.

Ms Beck added: “He took his brother’s keys, he was out of the room. His brother tried to stop him and got into the car.

“The collision occurred due to the defendant swerving from side to side.

Duffy, of Cooperative Terrace, Concord, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving, drink driving, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and without insurance. He has four previous convictions for driving whilst disqualified, the court heard, and one for dangerous driving.

Phillipa Wylie, defending, said: “It’s right to say that Mr Duffy made admissions from the very start.

“He was the driver and he had come off the road and he points out that his brother had nothing to do with it.

There were no witnesses to the incident, emergency services came on the scene after it happened.

“The car had swerved, it’s hit a kerb and it’s rolled and that’s the extent of the driving.

“This was stupid behaviour, that he thought he had put behind him.

“He’d had a few drinks and he was over the limit.

“His brother’s keys were on the mantlepiece. His brother tried to stop him.”

Ms Wylie added that he had reconciled with his brother, who was at the back of the court to support him.

Probation officer Alan Cutting, who prepared a report on Duffy, said had recently suffered three family bereavements.

Mr Cutting said the car had belonged to his late grandfather, and that as a result of the incident, his grandmother was no longer speaking to him.

Ms Wylie added: “This has been a foolish mistake – one that he is very upset about because of the effect it has had on his family and his brother.”

Duffy was also banned from driving for a year and was told to pay a surcharge of £115 and costs of £85.