Drink driver over three times the limit after leaving South Shields home of woman he met on dating app

A date led to a three-year driving ban for a man who travelled to South Tyneside for romance – then got in his car after boozing with her until the early hours.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:00 am

Northumberland man Mark Scott, 29, came to South Shields to meet a woman on Sunday, December 15, and was invited back to her place at 6pm for drinks.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard the pair met through a dating app and Scott stayed with her until the early hours.

It was then that friends of the woman turned up unannounced to him, leaving him feeling uncomfortable and making the decision to drive from the scene.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Scott – who has a previous drink-drive conviction from 2016 – got into his Ford Focus, with the intention of driving only a short distance to find a place to park and sleep, the court was told.

But he was stopped by police in Temple Park Road, South Shields, with a breath test revealing he had 115 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – more than three times the legal limit of 35.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He’s seen by the police, driving somewhat erratically. He’s pulled over and says, and I quote, ‘I’ve had a couple’. It would rather seem to be more than a couple.”

A Probation Service report revealed Scott, who is a woodworker and driver but has lost his job due to his crime, had gone to meet the woman in a date arranged via a dating app.

They had returned to her home and the defendant had decided to drive only after “another crowd” turned up.

Judith Curry, defending, said: “Mr Scott apologises for coming to court for this again. It was a night where he hadn’t intended to drive at all.

“He didn’t want to stay. He had no intention of driving home, he was going to find somewhere to sleep. As a consequence of this, he has lost his job.”

As well as banning Scott from driving, magistrates also imposed an 18-month community order with a requirement of 250 hours unpaid work, the undertaking of the Drink Impaired Driver Rehabilitation programme, and 15 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.

Scott, of Centurion Way, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to the charge and was ordered to pay a £90 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.