Drink-driver did not stop after hitting dog

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A three times the limit drink-driver hit a dog, didn’t stop and ended up smashing into a wall when he sped through Burnley at 7-30am, a court heard.

Mobile vehicle painter Anthony Walsh (36) was driving erratically in his white Audi A3 convertible, overtaking on the wrong side of the road and travelling about twice as fast as other traffic, it was claimed.

Burnley magistrates were told the owners of the animal, called Reggie, which had escaped from their yard, found out on Facebook a dog had been run over.

They went to the vet to find their pet cut and bruised, with leg injuries and in a splint. The initial cost of the dog’s treatment was £500.

Walsh, whose car was substantially damaged after the collisions, blew 108 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The defendant, of Mount Pleasant, Worsthorne, now faces a three year ban, after admitting driving with excess alcohol on Ormerod Road, Burnley, on April 15th. Walsh, who has a previous drink-drive conviction from 2013, was given an interim disqualification and will be sentenced next month.

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, said a witness reported Walsh didn’t stop after striking the dog when he was pulling into the correct lane on Trafalgar Street. She said: “He didn’t seem to brake. He was driving about 50mph. Several other cars stopped.”

The prosecutor said the defendant crashed into the wall sideways on. Police arrived and described Walsh as smelling heavily of alcohol and his speech as being very slurred. She added:

“He accepted he was the driver and handed over the keys. He cooperated with breath tests there and also at the police station.”

The defendant, who was not represented by a solicitor, told the hearing the roadside breath test was 84 microgrammes.

He said: “I didn’t set out to hit a dog.” He continued: “I’m going to lose my job. Unfortunately, I will be unemployed.”