Drink-driver sentenced after being spotted 'swaying' at the tills by staff in South Shields Sainsbury's

A motorist who drove to a supermarket to buy booze while under the influence – then drove home after being turned away – has been banned from the roads.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 6:00 am

Lee Stobbs, 49, was spotted swaying at the tills by staff at Sainsbury’s, who said he was too sozzled to purchase alcohol.

Despite their protestations, Stobbs, who was over three times the limit, drove off, driving the estimated 200m to his home in the same street.

He then became aggressive towards police who turned up, even attempting to headbutt one officer, a court heard.

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Picture from Google Streetview of the Sainsbury's branch at The Nook in South Shields

Jobless Stobbs had to be handcuffed and restrained due to his behaviour at 6pm on Friday, May 22.

Magistrates in South Tyneside sentenced him to a 25-month driving ban and a community order and a conditional discharge, each of a year.

Prosecutor Oriana Frame said: “A witness works for Sainsbury’s in Prince Edward Road.

“She was told by another member of staff that the defendant was trying to buy alcohol at the tills. He was swaying on the spot.

“After he left, she was also told that it appeared he had come in his car. She watched him and saw him get in the vehicle.

“She said, ‘Excuse me’ to get his attention that he shouldn’t have been driving.

“When she was on the phone to the police, he reversed and said something to her, and she again said that he shouldn’t be driving.

“He drove away and turned on to Prince Edward Road.”

She added: “Police attend his address and find him sitting on the wall. Officers form the opinion that he is under the influence of alcohol.

“He became physically and verbally abusive and was handcuffed. He tried to headbutt another officer. He didn’t connect, but came close.”

David Forrester, defending, said: “The distance driven was only a short distance. He doesn’t accept attempting to headbutt anyone.

“There was an injury at work which has led to all sorts of problems.”

Stobbs, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving and resisting arrest at a previous hearing, gave a breath test reading of 116mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

He must pay a £95 victim surcharge.

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