A 37-year-old woman has avoided jail, despite being convicted of drink driving for the fourth time in three years.
She was found slumped at the wheel of her car a few yards from her flat in Hale, Greater Manchester. She was holding her mobile phone, with a bottle of wine in the footwell, and police officers described her as being “very very incoherent”.
The woman claimed she had been drinking as a way to escape the fact that she had just had an abortion at the request of her boyfriend, as well as having just been diagnosed with dyslexia.
A report by the probation service said: “She accepts alcohol has been an issue, and it has been an issue since she was 21, she used alcohol regularly due to her previous employment when she was drinking on a social basis.”
The report also said that she acknowledges she should have sought help rather than turning to alcohol.
The court also heard that the woman had previously been a victim of domestic abuse.
“She has been referred to counselling, and due to long waiting lists on the NHS, she pays privately for it,” the report continued.
“She volunteers once a week in the detoxiﬁcation ward of a hospital in Prestwich. She also works as a support worker where she helps others with their own issues.”
Speaking on her behalf, her solicitor said that if she were incarcerated there would be no-one to care for her nine-year-old child, as the father provides little or no support.
District Judge James Hatton told the woman: “Unfortunately for you, your record of previous convictions is disgraceful. There were three separate oﬀences of drink driving in 2015 and these are oﬀences were custody would be appropriate.
“But I have seen many letters to suggest you’re getting help for your personal circumstances.
“Those alone would not be suﬃcient to persuade me against a custodial sentence but my main concerns are about your daughter and what will happen to her should you be sent to prison.
“For that reason, I will suspend your sentence. But let me make it abundantly clear, if you breach your sentence by the commissioning of another oﬀence, you will be brought back to court and your feet will not touch the ﬂoor.
“I promise you, you will go straight to prison and I will not blink when I send you down. Be sure of that.”
After pleading guilty to drink driving, she was banned from the roads for five years, ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay £200 costs.
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