Police find drink-driver in playhouse


- Credit: Archant

A DRINK-driver, who hid in a children’s playhouse in an effort to escape police, ran away because he ‘couldn’t afford’ the fine, a court heard.

Timothy Painter, aged 36, was sentenced at North Somerset Courthouse for driving a vehicle while over the alcohol limit and obstructing a police officer.

Leslie Ness, prosecuting, told the court that Painter, of Garstons Orchard in Wrington was stopped in Yatton High Street by PC Faithfull on March 15.

She said: “When he (Painter) got out of his car he was unsteady on his feet. He attempted to escape out of the rear window of the police car, got out and ran away, shouting back to the officer ‘you aren’t having me mate, I’m self employed, I can’t afford this’.

“Police searched the area and found him hiding in a children’s playhouse in the garden of a house close by.”

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Painter was then taken away for a breath test, which revealed there were 85 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - more than double the legal limit of 35.

Painter, who represented himself, told the magistrates he is a self-employed landscape gardener.

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He said: “I did this out of absolute stupidity and there is no excuse for it. I have been battling depression since I lost my mum and nan and, as a result, I started binge drinking - and this was a result of that.

“I have attended ARA meetings and have not drunk since the day of the offence and I’m not intending to.

“I have been battling with this for a few years but I’m feeling a lot better and I’m heading in the right direction.”

Painter was fined £300 for the drink-driving offence, £200 for obstructing a police officer and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

He was disqualified from driving for 40 months and agreed to take a drink-driving course.

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