Drink-driver crashed on A1

A drink-driver who crashed while trying to avoid a pheasant has been banned from driving for 15 months.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 7:55 am
Berwick Magistrates' Court

Graham Fairbairn, 21, of Marshall Meadows Farm Cottages, near Berwick, pleaded guilty to an offence of driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before magistrates last Thursday.

Berwick Magistrates’ Court heard the incident happened around 4.50am on December 17, when the defendant crashed his Ford Focus at the East Ord roundabout on the A1.

James Long, prosecuting, said: “The driver told police that he was driving along when a pheasant flew out. He swerved to avoid it but hit a patch of ice and crashed into the roundabout.”

The defendant gave a positive roadside breath test and was taken to Middle Engine Lane police station in Wallsend where a camic breath test of 57mg alc/100ml breath was given shortly after 7am. The legal limit is 35mg.

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The court heard that representations had been received from Barmoor Castle Country Park where the defendant works, and from Tweedmouth Community Foodball Club where he helps out.

Ian O’Rourke, defending, said: “Mr Fairbairn made a full and frank admission about being the driver. He had no defence and pleads guilty at the first possible opportunity.

“A friend of his had returned from university. He met up for a couple of pints. Later on he decided to go to McDonald’s and crashed.

“He admits himself that it was a case of sheer stupidity.”

The defendant was fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

He was banned from driving for 15 months which will be reduced by 15 weeks if he completes a rehabilitation course.