Drink-driver’s ‘high reading’

A drink-driver who was more than three-and-a-half times the legal limit has been banned from the roads for three years.

Police were alerted after Gary Michael Kaye, 53, of Brindle Park Drive, Castleford, drove off from a petrol station three-quarters of a mile from his home on March 21.

Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard how police caught up with him at home, walking away from the car with a fast food carrier bag in his hands.

Prosecutor Karen Medley said a breath test revealed a lower reading of 125mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is just 35 mcgs.

Kaye initially denied driving with excess alcohol but pleaded guilty on the eve of his scheduled trial. He has two similar convictions on his record.

The court heard he had been drinking quite heavily earlier that day but had no intention driving.

He later ordered a take away but then realised he had no money.

He drove to the garage to withdraw some cash and was caught.

Katie Edmondson, mitigating, said the court had been notified by an emergency email on Friday that her client was going to plead guilty. The Crown Prosecution Service were also told to avoid a trial.

The solicitor conceded it was a high reading and aggravated by previous similar convictions.

But she told the court how her client had been left in ‘huge shock’ following the sudden death of his wife in January. His father-in-law had also died five days later.

The court heard the petrochemicals engineer was still struggling with the loss of his wife whom he did everything with.

He had drunk much more heavily on the day of the offence and had not been eating properly.

He has lost two stones in weight and was feeling very weak at the moment.

Magistrate Lorraine Jeffery, passing sentence, said: “Yes, it was a short distance but it was a very high reading.

“It’s very fortunate that nothing happened to anybody, wasn’t it.”

As well as a driving ban, Kaye was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 240-hour unpaid work requirement.

He must also pay £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs.