Selston drink driver told Sutton cops: "I've had a bad day - can you just let me go?"

A Selston drink driver who ignored police requests to stop in Sutton told officers: "I've had a bad day - can you just let me go?" a court has heard.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 1:49 pm

Officers were tipped off before they spotted Vanessa Birchall's white VW veering over road markings, behind them, at 8pm, on June 23, said prosecutor Yaysa Hue.

When they activated their lights and signalled for her to stop, she just drove past them.

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"Other road users included a cyclist and pedestrians," said Ms Hue. "The officer was worried the VW would mount the pavement."

Police followed her until she had to stop when the vehicle in front of her stopped, and they blocked her in.

Birchall ignored requests to turn off the engine and the officer opened the driver's door and confiscated the keys. Her speech was slurred and her eyes were glazed, the court heard.

When she was taken to Mansfield police station she failed to provide a sample of breath, and said: "I'm going to blow over - so what's the point?"

Morgan Hogarth, mitigating, said her marriage of 19 years ended and she lost her job during the first few months of lockdown.

On June 23 she visited family solicitors about seeing her children and received a phone call from her ex-husband who "verbally abused her about missing her son's football match."

Birchall went to the match and met her ex-husband, who called the police after smelling alcohol on her breath.

She was driving home and suffered a panic attack, said Mr Hogarth. He said her refusal at the station was a "sign of hopelessness," and "she clearly has no defence in the case."

The loss of her licence will make travel to her new workplace difficult, Mr Hogarth added.

Birchall, 44, of Pippin Close, Selston, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis, when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

Magistrates appreciated it was “her first time in court,” but added they were concerned because she deliberately tried to avoid police twice.

They imposed 200 hours of unpaid work, with a 28-month ban, and ordered her to pay a £95 surcharge and £85 costs.

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