Ex pro boxer feared passing out at police blood test

An ex-professional boxer stopped in his car claimed he didn't give police a blood specimen as he thought he might pass out and have a seizure, a court was told.

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

Stuart McFadyen (34) was suspected to have been driving under the influence of drugs by officers. He had been pulled over by police at 11-30am, after being seen “drifting in and out” of the lane and over the road. His pupils were dilated, his speech slurred and he was unsteady on his feet. In the police vehicle, he was drowsy and unresponsive, but officers couldn’t smell drink on him, Burnley magistrates heard.

The hearing was told at the police station, McFadyen, currently on benefits due to depression, was asked for a blood test for the drug drive procedure, at first consented, but then later withdrew permission.

The defendant, who has a conviction for drink driving, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis on March 8th. McFadyen, of Keighley Road, Colne, was given an eight week curfew, seven days a week, between 7pm and 7am and banned for three years. He must pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Ben Leech, defending, said the defendant believed he told police he was on a prescription to assist him with depression and sleeping and he would say he was quite co-operative and told them there was nothing else in his system. It was only when told a blood sample was required that he became quite concerned.

Mr Leech said McFadyen’s licence was revoked for a year in 2014 after he had a seizure and while tests were carried out for epilepsy. Blood samples were taken from the defendant regularly when he was a professional boxer.

The solicitor continued: “He says it was well-known he would pass out when he was having blood tests and he simply says he feared he would pass out and it might spark another seizure and lead to him losing his licence. He didn’t realise because of this incident he could lose his licence. He accepts it’s not a needle phobia, it’s a needle dislike.”