Former Nissan worker caught over the limit by police while driving to Sunderland taxi rank

A children’s football team may have to ‘cease’ playing after its founder was convicted of drink-driving.

Gray worked at Nissan for 13 years but recently stopped working there due to a restructure.
Gray worked at Nissan for 13 years but recently stopped working there due to a restructure.

Former Nissan worker Michael Gray had been on a night out in Sunderland when he failed to get a taxi after ringing ‘six different firms’.

Instead, he got behind the wheel of his Range Rover planning to drive a short distance to the nearest taxi rank when he was stopped by police on Pallion New Road on Saturday, July 20, and found to be more than twice the legal limit.

Appearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, August 6, Gray pleaded guilty to drink-driving and having 89 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Gray appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The court heard that Gray, of Borough Road, South Shields, had been at a prize-giving event for a ladies’ football team, which he set up in Peterlee, on the date he was stopped by police.

After the celebrations drew to a close, the 33-year-old remained behind to help staff clear up before planning to meet back up with his team and continue the party.

It was then that he got behind the wheel after failing to get a taxi.

The event was held at a pub in Sunderland.

Father-of-two Gray previously set up a football team for children inspired by his son, who wanted to join a side but was too young at the time.

Michael Gibson, mitigating, told the court that the team’s future may now be in doubt due to Gray’s conviction, as he runs much of the admin for it - including setting up and transporting equipment.

Mr Gibson also said that Gray is currently unemployed, having worked at Nissan for 13 years.

He ceased employment there in recent weeks following a restructure at the company.

The solicitor added: “He hopes to train as a teacher, an ambition that he has long held.”

Gray was disqualified from driving for 22 months and ordered to pay a £120 fine.

He must also pay £85 in costs and a £32 victim surcharge.