South Shields driver caused ‘scene from Austin Powers’ after jamming car across road

A South Tyneside driver caused ‘a scene from Austin Powers’ when she jammed her car across a road and diagonally between two others, a court heard.

Jennifer Nicholson, 76, of Horsley Vale, South Shields, left officers and witnesses bamboozled by what happened in nearby Cheviot Road.

Prosecutor Greg Flaxen compared her motoring mishap to a scene in an Austin Powers film, where the hero has trouble maneuvering a luggage cart in a tunnel.

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But he said one explanation of her error at 12.10am on Wednesday, August 17, could be that she had downed three glasses of wine.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

He told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court she was unable to give a breath test sample at the roadside or at a police station after her arrest.

It led to her being charged with failing to provide a sample for analysis, to which she pleaded guilty.

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Mr Flaxen said: “A sergeant attends a road traffic collision in South Shields. He sees the motor vehicle.

“Essentially, there’s cars parked either side. This vehicle is across both and touching both vehicles.

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“He helpfully describes it as like a scene from Austin Powers because all vehicles are stuck.

“Witnesses and the defendant and the police are unable to give an explanation how it got there. There’s damage to the vehicles.

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“It’s clear that she was heavily intoxicated. She explains that she had had three glasses of wine. The officer said that he could smell intoxicants.

“The defendant was unable to supply a sample of breath, and was cautioned and arrested and taken to a police station.

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“She was again unable to provide a breath test. She appears before the court with no convictions, but it was a deliberate refusal.”

Michael Gibson, defending, said Nicholson’s ability to blow for a breath test was possibly impeded by her car’s airbag activating and striking her chest.

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Mr Gibson added: “She’s never been involved in a road traffic accident. Her car is written off, it’s gone. She’s not sure she will drive again.”

District Judge Zoe Passfield banned Nicholson from driving for 12 months and fined her £200, with £85 court costs and an £85 victim surcharge.