Seaman caught driving with cocaine in system after bad break-up


A seaman has been banned from the roads after he was stopped while driving his car in the early hours having taken cocaine.

Magistrates heard Jonathan Hatch, 26, turned to the drug following the break-up of his relationship.

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court police decided to stop a Vauxhall Vectra being driven in Mount Terrace, South Shields.

He said: “The driver was identified as Hatch, and a roadside drugs test was carried out. This proved positive, so Hatch was arrested and taken to the police station for the formal drug-driver procedure to be done.”

Hatch, of Saint Simon Street, South Shields, admitted driving with cocaine in his system above the specified limit on April 13.

He had no previous convictions.

Michelle Stoneleigh, defending, said: “Mr Hatch has a clean licence, and this is his first time before a court for any offence.

“There is no evidence his driving was anything other than careful and competent.

“My instructions are he was stopped for an insurance check, which he passed because the car was properly insured.

“Mr Hatch works hard as an able seaman.His relationship broke down in a way that was not very amicable, he became depressed, and stupidly started taking cocaine.

“He has since come off the drugs, and generally got his life back on track by returning to work.”

Hatch was disqualified from driving for 12 months, and ordered to pay fines and costs of £516.