Drink driver almost four times the limit when car smashed into van on South Shields road

A motorist was found to be almost four times the legal limit when she ploughed into a van on a South Shields road.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 10:49 am

The van driver suffered injuries to his back, which meant he couldn't work and the vehicle was a right off.

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard the crash happened in February this year on Temple Town at the junction with Smith Street.

Cassandra McPherson, 44, pleaded guilty to a charge of driving with alcohol above the limit. She was found to have 130 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, with the limit being 35.

The collision happened on Temple Town at the junction with Smith Street, South Shields.

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McPherson, a finance officer, was on her way to work when the collision happened.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said of the van driver “slowed waiting for a gap”, adding: “Soon after he did so he saw a Land Rover vehicle travelling towards him on his side of the road. He attempted to take evasive action, but the Land Rover collided with the front of his van."

She said the van driver suffered muscle and nerve pain to his back and had to go to hospital. He also had to go on sick pay because he couldn't work.

Michael Gibson, defending, said: "Mrs McPherson is 44 and has never been in any form of trouble before."

He said McPherson had started drinking due to problems at work.

He said: "Work became intolerable and she was pulled from pillar to post. She began to suffer from anxiety and have panic attacks. To escape from the pressures of work, when the kids were in bed she started to consume alcoho.

"This incident happened at 9.50am, she hadn't drank that morning, it was all from the night before."

He said she wasn't speeding, but to avoid hitting the cars in front of her she swung into the wrong lane.

Mr Gibson said: "Her drinking habits have changed and she would call herself a social drinker now.

"She is very regretful and always very remorseful and upset about this."

McPherson, of Tiverton Gardens, Low Fell, was given a 12-month community order and fined £475, with £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge. She was also banned from driving for 36 months.