Drink-driving teenager abandoned Mercedes in South Shields after taking distressed friend out for food

A woman abandoned her Mercedes in a street after repeatedly rolling into a car behind while almost three times the limit.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:55 am

Katie Hansell, 18, drove an emotionally distressed friend for a bite to eat, but stalled her vehicle at a junction in Shaftesbury Avenue, Simonside, South Shields.

They then took a taxi to the pal’s home just after midnight on Thursday, June 21, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

But Hansell, of Mayfield Place, Wideopen, North Tyneside, left a credit card behind, which was found by police.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

And the cab driver is also believed to have contacted officers about his concerns – and told them where he dropped them off.

Prosecutor Leanne Duffy said Hansell was arrested at the address and admitted to being at the wheel, saying, “Yes, I was driving, I’m not going to lie.”

A breath test showed 90mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Ms Duffy added: “At 12.05am, the witness was driving in Shaftesbury Avenue.

“She came to a stop at the junction with Newcastle Road and was behind the defendant’s blue Mercedes.

“While waiting at the traffic lights, the defendant’s vehicle began to roll backwards without its reverse or brake lights being on.

“The witness attempted to back away but couldn’t do it quickly enough. The car collided into the front of her.

“She tried to back away twice more, but every time she did this, the defendant’s vehicle rolled back and collided.

“Police attended, and her vehicle was abandoned. They attended the address. She identified herself.”

Nigel Boddy, defending, said: “There was no damage to the vehicle behind, which simply drove off.

“Her friend was in a vulnerable position and was very upset. Later that night, the friend took an overdose.

“She made the decision to go out with her friend to get some food when she shouldn’t have been driving.”

Hansell, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was banned from the roads for 25 months and fined £310, with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

She was also handed a 12-month community order, with a requirement of 20 days of rehabilitation work with the Probation Service.

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