Fined: drink driver crashed work van into a wall

Monday 16th March 2020 4:44 am
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A drink-driver who crashed his car into a wall in Lonan has been fined £1,250 and banned for three years.

John Cotton, 35, of Minorca Hill, Laxey, must also retake his test at the end of the ban and pay £125 prosecution costs.

Prosecuting advocate Rebecca Cubbon told the court that Cotton was driving a Ford Transit van on February 11 at 9.25pm.

He collided with a wall on Church Road in Lonan and witnesses said that he had then parked the vehicle and left the scene on foot heading towards Laxey.

Cotton was found by police at the Queen’s Hotel in Laxey and a barmaid said that he had arrived in the pub at 10pm.

She said that Cotton told her he had crashed his van and asked her: ’How much to tell police I’ve been drinking here all evening?’

At police headquarters, Cotton told police: ’I’ve crashed the van and I’ve gone off and had a drink.’

He failed a breathalyser test with a reading of 93 - the legal limit is 35 - but then handed in a prepared statement saying that he intended to rely on a post-driving consumption defence.

However, an expert’s report concluded that, even with alcohol consumed in the pub, the reading would have been 62.

Defence advocate David Reynolds said: ’Mr Cotton tells me he had been out for dinner with his wife. There had been an argument and she left.

’He says he decided to go for a drive to calm down. He then had the accident hitting the wall and damaged his work van.’

Mr Reynolds went on to say that Cotton said that he had apologised to the owner of the wall and had repaired it himself.

Magistrates ordered Cotton to pay the fine and costs at a rate of £10 per week.

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