Drunk fighter jet paint sprayer drove into worker at road closure in Burnley after hearing news his girlfriend was pregnant, court told

A drunk fighter jet paintsprayer repeatedly drove into a worker at a road closure and 'went mad,' hurling cones and signs   - just after his partner announced she was pregnant, a court heard.

Monday, 8th April 2019, 9:43 am
Updated Monday, 8th April 2019, 10:49 am
A man appeared who admitted driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop when required by a constable was given 100 hours unpaid work, with a 20- day rehabilitation activity requirement and was banned for 40 months by Burnley magistrates.

Michael Stott, who had downed a bottle of vodka, was later found to be two-and-a half times the limit after police stopped his Audi A3.

He had tried to drive through the Burnley road block and victim Gary Jones and colleague Sam Jones had gone to stop him.

The 44-year -old had started screaming and shouting, had been foul- mouthed and abusive, threatened to put Gary Jones on his 'backside' and lobbed concrete cones and signs at the men in front of shocked onlookers.

The town's magistrates were told the victim had had to edge back so he wasn't run over and was forced down the road. He told police he feared he could have ended up seriously hurt. Sam Jones thought Stott might attack him at one stage.

The court heard Stott's girlfriend of 18 months, who already has two children, had just told him she was expecting, they had rowed and he had gone to the shop for the vodka.

He was arrested after the trouble as he shot over speed bumps in a 20mph zone at 50mph and then ran off down a back alley. Stott was caught and told officers: "I have been stupid."

The defendant blew 87 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when he was tested. The legal limit is 35.

Fathe -of-one Stott, claims his behaviour was 'totally out of character,' and that he rarely drinks.

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, said Sam Jones and Gary Jones were working for the Highways Department, on Lyndhurst Road, in Burnley.

They were putting up signage ready for the work to be done and the road was closed. At about 1.30pm, a vehicle came down the road, despite the traffic cones shutting it off. Gary Jones told Stott he couldn't come through and Stott kept nudging him, pushing him back two or three times.

Mrs Mann said Sam Jones told the police: "I was concerned. I thought he ( Stott) was going to knock him over."

Stott then pulled over, got out with ' a bit of a stagger,' was slurring his words and called Sam Jones "mouthy."

Mrs Mann said the defendant was screaming and shouting and making threats. He then went back to his car, drove off, stopped, walked back, began to pick up cones and road signs and threw them towards the workers.

She told the hearing Sam Jones said:""He was just going mad, throwing things. I told him I was going to ring the police. He swore and said that was fine. "

Stott got back in his vehicle and was eventually stopped by the police after doing two circles of a street. Sam Jones told officers: " I had to back off a bit at one point in case he attacked me.

"He was massively aggressive the whole way through."

Mrs Mann said Gary Jones told police he had edged back so he wasn't run over.

Mr Jones went on:" He drove into me, forcing me down the road. It was a dangerous situation. I thought I could have been seriously injured."

The prosecutor said Gary Jones told police Stott pulled over and started shouting:" If you carry on walking towards me I will put you on your backside."

A number of witnesses were visibly shocked by what was going on.

A probation officer who interviewed Stott said she felt he minimised his actions. She said:" He says he is remorseful for his actions."

Stott had a very stressful time over the last year. His mum had died, he had not grieved properly, but was hopefully going to start some counselling. The officer said Stott had been to the shop, bought the vodka and drank some quickly.

She added:"He couldn't tell me what triggered that."

David Norman, defending Stott, told the hearing:"He says this really is totally out of character. It's not something that he would normally do and it really is a one-off."

The solicitor continued:"He had a brief argument with his girlfriend. She had just told him she was pregnant. He left, got a bottle of vodka and drank it."

Mr Norman added the defendant was due to start a highly-skilled new job as a paint sprayer on fighter jets and commercial aircraft.

The defendant, of Lubbock Street, Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop when required by a constable on Eastham Street, in the town and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards Gary Jones, on Wednesday, March 13th.

He was given 100 hours unpaid work, with a 20- day rehabilitation activity requirement and was banned for 40 months.