South Shields drink-driver drove home from Sainsbury's after being refused alcohol - then became 'physically aggresive' with police officer sent to find him

A drink-driver drove home after being refused booze at a supermarket - then became ‘physically aggressive’ with a policeman sent to quiz him about his behaviour.

Lee Stobbs, 49, of Prince Edward Road, South Shields, turned up at the Sainsbury’s branch on the same street as his home at 6pm on Friday, May 22, a court heard.

Staff could smell booze on his breath and refused his request to buy cans – then watched horrified as he returned to his car and drove off at over three times the limit.

Prosecutor Kirstie Devine told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court they warned him not to get behind the wheel of his Ford Focus – and called police when he did.

Picture from Google Streetview of the Sainsbury's branch at The Nook in South Shields

Mrs Devine said: “A staff witness was made aware by a colleague that a member of the public was trying to buy cans and that he was already drunk.

“She could smell alcohol on him. After she told him he would be refused alcohol, he said, ‘That’s fair enough’.

“Another staff member told her that she thought he had got in a car. It was then that she tried to get his attention.

“She called the police. She shouted back to him, “You shouldn’t be driving’, which was when the car drove away.”

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The court heard Stobbs drove the 200m home from the Nook shopping centre and twenty minutes later police turned up to speak to him.

Mrs Devine added: “A Pc Scott went to his address, and the defendant smelled strongly of alcohol.

“He was arrested but became verbally and physically aggressive. He was becoming increasingly violent.

“A police van had to be called. The defendant had to be put on the floor, and he was placed in leg restraints.”

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The court heard Stobbs gave a breath test reading of 116mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

David Forrester, defending, said his client had issues around alcohol and with depression.

Stobbs, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving, was handed an interim driving ban.

His case was adjourned for reports and he was granted unconditional bail to attend the same court for sentencing on Friday, August 14.

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