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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Over-the-limit Ulverston driver had just had surgery

A DRINK-DRIVER from Ulverston stopped on Christmas Day had recently had major stomach surgery, a court heard.

Anthony Mitchell, 48, of Buxton Place, was pulled over by police at 1am on December 25 as he turned off the A590 on to County Square.

Tests showed there was 101 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath, the legal limit being 35 microgrammes.

He pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared at Furness Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Mrs Adrienne Harris, prosecuting, said: “Police followed the vehicle, caused it to stop and then talked to the driver. Whilst doing so, the officers could smell alcohol on his breath.”

Mrs Harris added that, aside from a speeding offence in 2012, Mitchell had no previous convictions.

Mr Andrew Gibson, defending, said: “The background to this is Mr Mitchell recently had surgery where some 90 per cent of his stomach was removed. The result of that, he tells me, is that half a sandwich is the most he can eat at a time.

“Since his surgery this was only the second time he had had any alcohol at all.”

Mr Gibson added that, prior to being pulled over, Mitchell’s driving had not been noticeably affected.

The court heard a driving ban would have a serious impact on Mitchell as he is required to attend regular medical checkups in Fleetwood.

Mr Gibson added that, despite sentencing guidelines, Mitchell would not be able to do unpaid work due his disabilities.

Mitchell was disqualified from driving for 23 months.

He was also fined £110 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mrs Sue Needham, the presiding magistrate. said: “We have moved away from our guidelines because of your previous good character, your early guilty plea and your disabilities.

“If you are found driving a vehicle you will disobey a court order and you could go to prison, it is that serious.”

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