Driver was over the limit on South Shields midnight mercy mission

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A man was caught more than two times over the drink-drive limit in South Tyneside while making a midnight mercy dash, magistrates heard.

Robert Pearson decided to get behind the wheel and make a trip to a refuge in South Shields after an emotional plea for help from his chronic alcoholic ex-partner.

But his rescue bid was brought to a halt when police were alerted to his ‘erratic driving’ as he travelled through Newcastle Road, South Shields.

He failed a roadside breath test and recorded a reading of 81mcg of alcohol – more than double the legal limit of 35mcg – at South Shields Police Station after being arrested.

The 56-year-old admitted driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court and was slapped with a 20-month road ban.

Magistrates heard he had been drinking at home when he made the decision to drive to the borough to collect the woman, who had been complaining about drug-taking in her accommodation.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “At 12.55am on Saturday, November 14, police were on duty on the A194 in South Shields when they saw the defendant driving erratically in a Ford Mondeo vehicle.

“They followed him as he drove into a car park and when they spoke to him, they noted he smelt of alcohol.

“He failed a roadside breath test and was arrested.”

David Cornberg, defending, said; “The lady is a chronic alcoholic and in a refuge in South Shields to get help.

“On the day in question he received a number of calls from her expressing concern about the premises she was in and he went to take her back home. He felt he had no alternative.”

Gareth Cracknell, chairman of the magistrates, said; “You are old enough to know better.

Pearson, of North Ridge, Bedlington, was also fined £120 and must pay a criminal courts charge of £150, prosecution costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.