McDonald's trip proved costly for uninsured South Shields student

A South Tyneside student bit off more than he could chew when he drove unwanted friends to a fast-food outlet in a bid to shake them off.

Police were informed Aaron Dawson, 24, may have consumed alcohol or taken drugs – and nabbed him at McDonald’s at Boldon Colliery.

Dawson, of Warkworth Avenue, Horsley Hill, South Shields, smelled of cannabis and was caught in possession of a drugs’ grinding device, a court heard.

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But a test showed the electrical insulation student had no illegal substance in his system and alcohol was not involved but he was driving without insurance and a valid licence.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, he was handed eight penalty points and hit with fines and costs of £249 after pleading guilty to two driving offences.

Prosecutor Rehana Haque said police turned up at the Abingdon Way outlet at 9pm on Tuesday, February 15.

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She added: “They attended after a report of a car going through the drive-thru and the driver possibly being under the influence of drink or drugs.

“The car was parked and there were four or five males inside. The defendant walked towards the vehicle from the store.

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“He smelled strongly of cannabis and he was asked if he had any cannabis. He produced a cannabis grinder.

“He was interviewed and accepted that he only had a provisional licence and there wasn’t anyone in the car over the age of 21.”

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Dawson pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and driving without a licence.

Defending himself, he confirmed he had been given a caution for the drugs’ matter.

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Of his driving offences, he said: “It was just an absolutely stupid idea.

“I had a few friends at the house and at the time, I was trying to get rid of them. I thought that would be the quickest and easiest way.”

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District Judge Kathryn Meek told the hearing “it would have been better if the police had set out their case in a fairer way”.

She also fined Dawson, who is also known as Holmes, £120, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.