Police caught man with open bottle of Stella Artois while driving wrong way up busy one-way street

A man found with an open bottle of Stella Artois after driving the wrong way up a one-way street has been banned from the roads.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 3:31 pm

Paul Griffiths, 29 of Houghtonside, Houghton, was seen by police ignoring a no entry sign in Collingwood Street, Newcastle, on August 11.

They spotted the booze when they spoke to him as he sat in his private registration silver BMW. He then failed to provide a breath test for analysis.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard he did so because he suffered from anxiety and was having a panic attack. He also believed he was allowed to speak to a solicitor.

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Picture of Collingwood Street via Google Streetview

Griffiths has now been disqualified from driving for 44 months and two weeks after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to provide.

The dad also admitted charges of failing to co-operate with a preliminary test and failing to comply with a traffic sign, for which no separate penalties were imposed.

Prosecutor Rachael Glover said police saw the defendant driving in the wrong direction, then the open bottle of Stella. He then refused a breath test, and then a Camic procedure at the station.

Susan Grey, defending Griffiths, who also has a drink-drive conviction from March 2018, said: “For the no entry, he says he’s gone with a friend to drop off a coat. He wasn’t familiar with the road layout.

“He was spoken to by police and from the off he was asking for his medication. Because it wasn’t in its original box they wouldn’t let him have it.

“He did say that he wanted to speak to a solicitor, but this is a misconception. That was why he failed to provide at the roadside.

“He was then taken to a police station and still asks for his medication. The error he makes is that there comes a point where the police bring in a nurse who is on duty, but he won’t meet her, that’s his downfall.”

Griffiths, who is currently serving a jail term for breaching a restraining order, was given a four-week sentence to run concurrently.

He must pay a £121 victim surcharge and £100 court costs.