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Selston pensioner hit oncoming van while over the limit

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Selston pensioner clipped an oncoming van as he drove home from the pub where he had been discussing funeral arrangements for his recently deceased wife, a court heard.

David Sewell’s blue Renault Clio scraped the side of the van on a country lane as he returned from a pub in Kirkby, at 7pm, on January 4.

“He didn’t stop or exchange details so the van driver followed the defendant,” said prosecutor Neil Hollett.

“He described the defendant’s driving as erratic. He blocked his vehicle so he couldn’t get away and watched him enter his house.”

A test revealed he had 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of alcohol when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Sewell, of Pennine Drive, who turned 79 when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Wednesday, admitted exceeding the drink drive limit.

Treve Lander, mitigating, said Sewell’s wife had died a short time before the incident and he had seen a friend “to talk over what had happened to him and the various arrangements he was going to have to sort out.”

“There was a little bit of an accident,” said Mr Lander. “It was on a part of road that was very narrow. They clipped each other as they passed.

“There are tragic overtones to the mitigation.”

The court heard Sewell drank two pints of ale and a coffee before driving.

He told the court: “Next birthday I shall be 80. I have a lot of mileage under my belt. At the age of 80 quite frankly I think I should be packing it in.”

Sewell was fined £196 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 government surcharge.

He was banned for 16 months, but declined the offer of a drink drive rehab course which would have reduced the disqualification.