Whittlesey drink driver had keys taken off him by trucker

Peterborough Magistrates' Court
Peterborough Magistrates' Court

A drink driver has narrowly avoided a jail sentence after a court heard a lorry driver had to take the keys from the ignition.

Mark Barnes (42) of Falcoln Lane, Whittlesey, was given a suspended jail sentence by District Judge Ken Sheraton after he heard how the lorry driver was so concerned by Barnes’ driving he forced him to stop and pulled the keys out of the ignition.

When police attended the scene, Barnes gave a reading of 108mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - three times the limit of 35mg in 100ml.

However, he refused to give readings at the police station, and on Friday he was sentenced at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to failing to provide a sample.

Martin Newton, defending, said Barnes was still struggling to cope with the break up of his marriage and the death of his mother.

He said: “He suffers from anxiety and depression. He had been discharged from hospital, and did not believe he should have been, and was driving back to the hospital when the incident happened.”

The court heard how Barnes said he had one large glass of wine before getting behind the wheel, and had been confused at the police station.

Judge Sheraton gave Barnes an eight week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to take part in rehabilitation activity for 10 days.

He was also banned from driving for 30 months, and ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 surcharge.