Drink driver (63) drove along pavement in Retford

Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales

A boozy Retford woman who drove for 30 feet along a footpath while she was followed by police had three previous convictions for drink driving, a court heard.

An officer followed Anna Topping after she was reported by a member of the public who saw her leave the Idle Tap pub, on Carolgate, on May 21.

Her car veered on to the other side of the road as she turned off London Road before mounting the kerb, Robert Carr, prosecuting, said.

A road side test revealed she had 86 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

But she was unable to provide a sample for the formal test at the police station, despite several attempts.

The court heard she had previous convictions for driving with excess alcohol in 2002 and 2005, and one for failing to provide a sample in 2009.

Topping, 63, of Albert Road, Retford, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis when she appeared before Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday.

Ian Pridham, mitigating, said her marriage of 15 years broke down in January, and she had been living with her daughter.

“She is effectively homeless,” he said. “The stress has been building and building.

“On this day she borrowed her daughter’s car to do some shopping and stopped in for a drink.

“She was persuaded to stay by locals on the promise that they would give her a lift home, but they didn’t.

“She initially mounted the kerb thinking that the police car was going to go past.”

He said she was “mortified to find herself back in front of the court”, and had recently joined Alcoholics Anonymous.

Probation officer Isobel Peach said Topping accepted she was in the wrong and was shocked by the high level of the alcohol reading.

The court heard she didn’t intend to drive again.

Topping was banned from driving for four years. She was given a nine month supervision order and a four week curfew, from 6pm to 5am, which will be electronically monitored.

She must also pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.