Man took friend's truck and drove while over the limit

A South Tyneside man admitted taking a vehicle without consent and driving it while over the limit.

Gary Anthony Hudson, 37, of Grosvenor Crescent in Hebburn, pleaded guilty to the charges, along with driving without insurance and driving while disqualified, when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The incident happened on August 24, when Hudson was spotted behind the wheel of the Ford Transit flatbed truck on Campbell Park Road.

Eve McDonnell, prosecuting, said Hudson had been banned from driving for five years in 2012 and had to take an extended driving test to get his licence back, which he hadn’t done.

Gary Hudson

She said at around 5.10pm a police officer was on patrol and her attention was drawn to the truck.

Ms McDonnell, said: “She recognised the driver to be the defendant and she is aware he is an alcoholic and does not have a valid licence.”

She said the police officer stopped the vehicle and spoke to the defendant and she could smell alcohol.

The defendant told her he had drank a bottle of whisky and four cans of cider the day before and had had one can that day.


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He was found to have 78 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, with the limit being 35.

Ms McDonnell said the defendant said the van belonged to a friend who was helping him to move and he admitted he did not have permission to drive it.

Kashif Khan, defending, said: “The defendant had the benefit of a friend helping him move his possessions, unfortunately he took advantage of that situation.”

He had been given the keys to pack the van up, but instead of waiting for his friend to turn up he decided to drive the van himself.


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Mr Khan said: “He has made the fatal decision to drive because it wasn’t a very long distance. He has really made a bad decision, clearly he has. Coupled with the alcohol problem has been his mental health. He is hopeful now he can try and turn things around. He is certainly very grateful that there hasn’t been any harm caused to anyone.”

Hudson was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, along with 80 hours of unpaid work,£85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.