'Alcohol-dependent' Burnley plumber crashes van whilst over the limit

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

An “alcohol-dependent” plumber suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital after he smashed his van into parked cars, a court heard.

Stephen Little, who was over the limit, claimed he had been blinded by sunlight before the 4.45pm crash on Brunshaw Avenue in Burnley.

The town’s magistrates were told he failed a roadside breath test and a further test showed 124 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80. The 34-year-old had a previous conviction for drink-driving from 2014.

Mr Philip Turner, defending, said Little had alcohol dependency syndrome. He had been drinking heavily the night before until about 5am and had been at home, playing his guitar, and drinking far too much.

The solicitor continued: "He says he was blinded by sunlight which caused the accident with the vehicles. He remained with the vehicle despite the fact he was bleeding and he cooperated at the roadside. He was taken to hospital and again he cooperated with the blood sample procedure.”

Mr Turner said the defendant normally worked as a plumber-cum-property developer but was currently off sick due to his alcohol dependency, anxiety, and depression. He was cooperating with Inspire (the alcohol treatment service).

The solicitor added: "He wants to be in a position to go back to work as soon as possible, but in the meantime he is in receipt of universal credit. It can be said he has really seen this as a wake-up call and has taken steps himself to deal with his drinking problem. “

Little, of Carholme Avenue in Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol on July 6th. He was banned for 40 months and was fined £120 with a £32 victim surcharge.