South Shields man on road ban for drink-driving after row with partner

A South Tyneside man is starting a three-year road ban after a judge rejected his claim he had driven while drunk only to stop his partner damaging his car.

Nigel Pescod, 50, was caught at the wheel while over twice the limit as he drove just yards from his home in East Avenue, near the Nook, South Shields.

Police had been called by the woman after the couple had a heated row, the court heard.

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Pescod pleaded guilty to drink driving but insisted he had done so because he feared she would take her anger out on his Nissan Qashqai.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

Giving evidence at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, his partner admitted she had done so after previous flare-ups after she had boozed.

Council street cleaner Pescod also claimed he had driven as little as 50m on the night of Friday, February 25 – and put both excuses forward as the thrust of a special reasons defence.

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Such a defence allows a court to apply discretion as to possible exceptional circumstances surrounding a driving conviction.

But after hearing evidence from Pescod, his partner and a policeman who caught him, District Judge Zoe Passfield threw out his claim.

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She said she believed he had driven in a bid to find the woman after she had left their property without telling him where she was going.

After hearing Pescod had a drink-drive conviction from 2013, she told him he could have protected his car by staying put.

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Judge Passfield added: “I don’t for one minute believe the explanation you put forward. I take the view that you got into the car to find your partner.”

Giving evidence, Pescod admitted he would not have driven had he known police had been called following the verbal spat.

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He insisted he had planned to drive his car to safety only to the end of a neighbouring street and to return home on foot.

David Forrester, defending, claimed all alleged mitigating factors meant his client’s defence could be successful.

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Pescod gave an evidential sample which showed 178mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

He was also fined £323 and must pay £620 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.