South Shields motorist faces ban for being four times over drug-driving limit

Wilkie was caught on High Street, Jarrow.
Wilkie was caught on High Street, Jarrow.

A driver was caught behind the wheel at four times the drug-drive limit.

Andrew George Wilkie was spotted by police, driving his Renault Megane, on High Street, Jarrow, on Wednesday, September 27, South Tyneside magistrates heard.

He was trying to deal with flashbacks

Catherine Fowle, defending

The 28-year-old had turned to drugs because he was suffering flashbacks from traumatic events which happened in his past.

The court heard the former Nissan worker recently lost his job due to his problems, and had 200 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine (BZE) per litre of blood – the specified limit being 50.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “This is a fairly straightforward case. He was stopped while driving the vehicle and found in due course to have BZE - a metabolite of cocaine - in his blood at a level above the specified limit, namely over 200 microgrammes.

“He has a number on convictions on his record.

“There is quite a bit of drug-related offending and also a failure to provide a specimen.”

Wilkie, of Bedford Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to driving with the level of a controlled drug over the specified limit.

Catherine Fowle, defending, said Wilkie was suffering psychologically from a series of traumatic events in his past.

“This is an incredibly sad story,” she said.

“He was referred for counselling on May 3, last year.

“He waited until October 10 to receive his first appointment, which was on November 20.

“This offence took place on September 27.

“During that time, he was trying to deal with flashbacks.”

She added: “He was in good employment with Nissan in Washington and because of what was going on in his life he lost that employment.

“He has new employment now, but he can’t get there on public transport.”

The bench asked for a drug rehabilitation assessment to be carried out.

Wilkie will be sentenced on March 9.