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Banned driver from Ilkley needed toilet after row at home
A banned driver drove to Tesco’s in Skipton to use the toilet because he had been locked out by his partner, Skipton magistrates heard.
John Ralf Lees, 42, drove a Ford Puma into three parked cars in Brougham Street, Skipton, before running off, the court was told on Friday.
Police, alerted by witnesses who saw him disappear down Neville Street, found him hiding behind an address in Rowland Street.
He was banned from driving for four years, ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and given a three-month curfew after admitting drink driving, driving while banned and without insurance, and failing to stop after an accident.
The court heard that Lees admitted having 113 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – more than three times the legal limit of 35.
However, it was accepted that he had drunk more than a litre of cider following the accident and his reading at the time would have been around 58 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath.
Lees, who was living in Cowling when he received his first driving ban in December, 2011, was now living with his parents in Ilkley Hall Park, Ilkley.
He had been an alcoholic since he was 16 and the birth of a stillborn child some years ago had added to his problems. He had split from his former partner and was now with a new partner, who also had a drink problem, the court was told.
In mitigation, Stephen Banks said Lees had been locked out of his partner’s house following an argument on June 9 and had been seen using a ladder in an attempt to get in. He had driven to Tesco to use the toilet and had been on his way back when he had driven into the parked cars.
“He panicked, went home and drank the alcohol in the back yard,” said Mr Banks, who added he had believed his driving ban had ended, although he had not re-applied for his licence.
“He is extremely sorry and remorseful and asks me to give his apologies to the court,” he said.
Lees was handed a two-year community order with supervision including a six-month alcohol treatment requirement. He will have to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and comply with a three-month curfew from 9pm-6.30am. He also received a four-year ban and was ordered to pay costs of £85 and a £60 victim surcharge. If he completes a drink drivers rehabilitation course before July, 2016, his ban will be reduced by a quarter.