Judge tells South Shields drink driver it was 'nothing short of a miracle' he did not kill or seriously injure anyone
A South Tyneside building site worker has been slammed by a judge but spared prison for driving so drunk he almost hit a cyclist while heading home.
Jamie Feechan, 38, of Borough Road, South Shields, was told it was a “miracle” he had not killed or seriously injured during his escapade.
Feechan was seen heading for home on the dual carriageway John Reid Road by a suspicious off-duty policeman on Saturday, September 17, a court heard.
The officer tailed him after seeing him almost collide with a bike rider - and watched as he alighted his Vauxhall Astra and stumbled into his garden.
Back-up was summoned and Feechan gave a test reading of 120mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Jailing him for eight weeks, suspended for a year, and banning him from driving for 30 months, District Judge Zoe Passfield said: “This was an incredibly high reading.
“Having heard the description of your behaviour when you stepped out of your car, it’s nothing short of a miracle that no-one was killed or seriously injured.”
Prosecutor John Garside told the borough’s magistrates’ court: “The defendant was seen by an off-duty police officer who followed him home after witnessing driving at a poor standard.
“He almost hit someone on a bike, and so he followed him home. He saw the defendant almost fall over in his garden.”
Feechan, who has one previous conviction, pleaded guilty to drink driving.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, described Feechan, a father, as “as entirely decent man”, adding: “He’s pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
“He’s a decent man who’s done a stupid thing and is incredibly ashamed.”
Judge Passfield also ordered Feechan, who is employed on a building site opposite the court, to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and pay a £154 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
She warned him he would go to prison if he drove during the term of his disqualification and while on a suspended sentence.
Feechan was offered a place on a drink driver rehabilitation course, completion of which reduces a ban by a quarter.