Drink-driver arrested on ‘Mad Friday’

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An ex-soldier caught three times the limit on “Mad Friday” had been due to be made bankrupt that day but had gone out drinking after a court papers mix-up, magistrates heard.

Shaun Riding (47), a former chef, was watched by police as he left a pub in Colne and got into his car. He was stopped after setting off, but had planned to drive home to Burnley.

The town’s justices were told how Riding, who served in the Army for 14 years, would now lose his job as he would not be able to get there.

The dad-of-one, who lives in a caravan on his mother’s drive, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Smith Street, Colne, last December 18th. Riding, of Hill Crest Avenue, Burnley, blew 108 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35.

He was given a 12-month community order, with 60 hours unpaid work and must pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. Riding, who had no previous convictions, was banned for 23 months.

Mark Williams (defending) said Riding had been in a long-term relationship, the property had been repossessed and there had been a lot of debt. He was meant to be made bankrupt on December 18th.

He had turned up with the paperwork at the wrong court, the case could not go ahead and so he went to Colne to have a drink with friends. The solicitor continued: “He intended to have a drink, leave his vehicle and use public transport to get home.

“He drank more than he should have done. It seems police watched him walk from the pub to the car. He drove a very short distance. He was intending to drive back home to Burnley.”