Ex soldier drove 21 foot motorhome in front of Burnley Primark store while twice drink drive limit, court told

An-ex soldier reversed a massive motorhome in front of the Burnley Primark store whilst more than twice the drink- drive limit, a court heard.

Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 9:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 10:40 am
An ex soldier landed himself in court after driving his motorhome in front of Burnley's Primark store while twice the drink drive limit.

Harley Douglas had done a three-point turn in a pedestrianised area of Burnley in the 21 foot long Mercedes Sprinter, at 4.50am. He then drove off in front of police.

The town's magistrates were told how Douglas was unsteady on his feet and smelled of alcohol when he was caught. The 23- year-old blew 74 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann said police saw the defendant driving on Hammerton Street into a pedestrianised zone at about 20mph. He realised he couldn't carry on because of a bollard blocking the road.

She told the court:" He did a three-point turn and reversed in front of Primark.

"The officer waved, wound his window down and shouted at him to stop and he drove off."

Mr John Rusius, defending, said the vehicle was a converted motorhome and was 21 feet in length.

He said: "Its a huge vehicle."

The solicitor said Douglas had gone out with friends, not intending to drive. He returned to the motorhome to sleep and found a window had been smashed.

Mr Rusius went on:" He didn't feel it was safe for him or the vehicle to remain in that particular car park and he was travelling a very short distance to another car park.

"He went one way, found he couldn't, did a three -point turn, went the other way and the officer has seen it. He stopped a short distance away."

Mr Rusius said Douglas had previously been in the the Army, now had other work and needed his licence. His employers were prepared to keep his job open for a limited period.

The defendant had gone from being a man of good character to having a criminal record. The solicitor told the court:" That is a particular punishment for him."

The solicitor added:" Obviously, he very much regrets this happened and would wish to apologise through me."

Douglas, of Calgary Avenue, Blackburn, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Hammerton Street. He was fined £292, with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He was disqualified for 12 months, which the Bench said was " outside the guidelines," because, they said, he travelled a short distance, had shown a degree of remorse and was of previous good character.