South Shields driver caught with miniature vodka bottles refused to give sample - then had to be told to be quiet by judge in court

A judge hit the breaks before sentencing a disruptive motoring offender after he repeatedly interrupted proceedings.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 6:00 am
The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

District Judge Kathryn Meek called a minute’s halt at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to stop troublesome Carl Potter, 39, butting in.

Potter, of Reed Street, Chichester, South Shields, crossed the line when he interjected to ask if he would be tagged as part of his punishment.

Moments earlier the judge had told him he could go to prison if he preferred for his failure to be breath tested – and she had already asked him to be quiet.

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Truculent Potter appeared at the court to plead guilty to failing to provide a sample for analysis on Monday, February 8.

Prosecutors said he had been found slumped in the driver’s seat of his car in Reed Street, with miniature vodka bottles on display.

The court heard his vehicle had been involved in an accident, but it could not be established who had been to blame.

The offence was on the same day he had been sentenced at court to a 12-month community order for assault, it was said.

When his case resumed, Judge Meek banned him from driving for 18 months and imposed a tagged curfew as part of a 12-month community order.

It will keep him at home for 12 hours a day, from 7pm to 7am, for the next three months.

After sentencing him, she told a finally muted Potter: “You can leave. Mr Potter, please leave.”

Prosecutor Ben Woodward told the hearing: “The defendant was in the vehicle in Reed Street, he was slumped in the driver’s seat.

“There were several miniature vodka bottles, and he smelled strongly of alcohol.

“He was taken to Southwick police station in Sunderland. He became abusive and made threats and refused to provide a sample.”

David Forrester, defending, said: “It’s put that there was a collision.

“It’s clear that there was an incident of sorts, but precisely what happened, we’re not sure.

“The other person in the accident doesn’t give a statement, but a neighbour does.

“We don’t know what is said about how the vehicle was being driven. The neighbour comes across the aftermath of it.

“The neighbour sees the vehicle rolling backwards. There appears to have been a collision.”

Potter must also pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.

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