Lovesick drink-driver gave fake name to police after being found at the wheel in South Shields car park

A love-lorn painter and decorator found at the wheel while under the influence in a coastal car park tried to have the last laugh with police – by lying about his name.
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Liam Docherty, 27, told officers outside The Dunes, at South Shields seafront, he was called Jackie Graham – and even insisted he was not boozed up, a court heard.

But they failed to see the funny side at 2.30am on Sunday, March 15 – and a breath test found Docherty, of Pattinson Gardens, Old Fold, Gateshead, was over twice the drink-drive limit.

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He also had the smile wiped off his face when checks revealed he had been banned from the roads for three years for drink-driving just a month earlier.

A file picture of the Pier Head Car Park, Sea Road, South Shields, next to The Dunes complex.A file picture of the Pier Head Car Park, Sea Road, South Shields, next to The Dunes complex.
A file picture of the Pier Head Car Park, Sea Road, South Shields, next to The Dunes complex.

It was already his second ban for being boozed up at the wheel, having also lost his licence for a year in May 2014, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.

District Judge Paul Currer told Docherty his escapade – he had been drinking in Gateshead after splitting with his girlfriend and driven to South Shields - had made him a danger to others.

He jailed him for 12 weeks but suspended the sentence for two years and imposed a fresh driving disqualification of 42 months.

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Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “CCTV identified that a male had driven into The Dunes car park, drinking alcohol.

“Officers attended the scene as a result and found the car engine running and a male in the driving seat.

“He gave his name as Jackie Graham. He said that he hadn’t been drinking and said that he a had a trades’ licence to drive the vehicle.

“The officers believed that the information given was fake. At the police station he provided his true identity.”

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The court heard a breath test revealed Docherty had 74mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Docherty pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving while banned, all on the same day.

He had pleaded guilty to assaulting his father in Gateshead while drunk on May 31 and to causing criminal damage, both at his dad’s home, at an earlier hearing.

Andy O’Hanlon, defending, said Docherty feared being jailed for his latest vehicle crimes, adding: “When he lost his girlfriend, he seems to have sunk deeper and deeper into alcohol.

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“I think that he drove to The Dunes because it’s a quiet place. He took the car, it was friend’s car, with the intention of drinking and then going to sleep, albeit it’s against the law.

“If he does it again, he’s going to prison.”

Judge Currer handed Docherty three 12-week suspended sentences, to run concurrently, for the assault, for driving while banned and drink-driving.

There were no separate penalties for the criminal damage charge and for driving without insurance.

He said: “Your offences are so serious that they cross the custody threshold.”

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Docherty must also do 100 hours of unpaid work and complete 35 rehabilitation days’ work with the Probation Service, and pay a £128 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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