Love cheat plagued by guilt planned to take his own life, court told

A court heard how a man planned to kill himself in a motorway as he could not live with the guilt of cheating on his long term partner.
A court heard how a man planned to kill himself in a motorway as he could not live with the guilt of cheating on his long term partner.
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A love-cheat, who planned to kill himself in a motorway smash because he couldn't live with the guilt, was caught over the drink- drive limit after he changed his mind, a court heard.

Joel Whitley was found, distraught, on the M65 at Brierfield, Lancashire, by police after he phoned them.

Whitley turned out to be almost twice the limit and had a small bag of cocaine on him.

Burnley magistrates were told how the 24-year-old had cheated on his long-term partner at a party early last year.

His solicitor told the hearing: "That has played on his mind all year, to the point where on the day in question he decided to take his own life."

Janet Sime said Whitley had confessed to his girlfriend, adding: "He thought he was going to lose her as well. "

The couple are still together.

Prosecutor Andrew Robinson said on Tuesday, January 16th, police received information from the defendant's mother that he might be threatening suicide. She said he had left home in a Peugeot.

Mr Robinson continued: "Officers received a phone call from Mr Whitley.

"He had deliberately tried to crash his vehicle on the M65, but had actually changed his mind at the last minute and driven up some banking. He was upset."

The prosecutor continued:" He was arrested for a drink -driving offence and when he was taken into custody in Blackburn, he was found to be in possession of a small snap seal bag containing a white powder.

"He immediately said it was cocaine."

The court was told at the police station, the defendant blew 60 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35.

Miss Sime said Whitley had had a particularly bad year last year.

He went to a party sometime earlier in the year and a lot of alcohol and drugs were being bandied about.

The solicitor continued: "Although he did experiment with this ( the cocaine), he had never touched it since, but he forgot it was there.

"Tragically, on that night, he also cheated on his long-term partner."

Miss Sime said Whitley decided to take his own life and had contacted his mum by text and various members of the family. She told the hearing: "He just couldn't live with it on is conscience."

Miss Sime said the defendant was very distressed when police arrived. She went on:"This is completely out of character for this gentlemen.

"His GP has diagnosed him with anxiety and depression and he is now on anti-depressant tablets. He is feeling more confident and assertive."

The solicitor said Whitley confessed to his partner what had happened and what he was going to do.

She said: "He thought he was going to lose her as well. That's what pushed him to the limit.

"Fortunately, they have talked it through and they are moving forward together. I think it's been a salutary lesson.

"Clearly, he was not well and not in his right frame of mind at the time of the incident. He didn't know at that stage he was ill."

Whitley, of Cunningham Grove, Burnley, admitted driving with excess alcohol on the M65 and possessing cocaine.

He had no previous convictions.

The defendant was fined £369, with £85 costs and a £36 victim surcharge and was banned for 12 months.

The bench chairperson told him: " You have shown a great deal of remorse, you are of previous good character and also we acknowledge your psychological state of mind at time."

She added: "There was potential danger to other road users."