Banned driver is jailed

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A CHRONIC alcoholic who crashed his friend’s car while more than four times the legal drink drive limit has been jailed.

Scott Murdoch was in such a state that he was spotted crawling out of the car following the collision before trying to hide behind bushes when the police arrived.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how the 38-year-old took a friend’s Vauxhall Corsa out for a spin on Sunday, June 23, after drinking two litres of cider – despite being disqualified from driving at the time.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told how Murdoch was driving along Platt Lane in Westhoughton when he suddenly veered across the road and mounted the kerb.

Amazingly, he brought the vehicle to halt before there was a serious accident.

But he then put the gearbox into reverse and backed straight into a stunned motorist’s car before driving off about 300 yards up the road.

The crash victim then saw the defendant crawl out of the car and start crawling along the ground.

Police quickly tracked Murdoch down, hiding behind a set of nearby bushes, and were instantly hit by a strong smell of alcohol.

When he was breathalysed he was found to be more than four times the legal drink drive limit.

In interview, Murdoch, of Calow Drive, Leigh, claimed he had a lot on his plate at the time and, initially, blamed the other driver for the crash.

However, he subsequently pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

He also admitted charges of failing to stop following the accident, failing to report the accident, aggravated vehicle taking and failing to surrender to custody.

Bob Topping, defending Murdoch, admitted his client was “a drunk who behaved with crass irresponsibility”.

But he also pointed to Murdoch’s early guilty pleas and argued that an immediate jail sentence would merely “paper over the cracks” of his client’s troubles.

Describing Murdoch as a man who posed “a clear danger to other road users”, Magistrates sentenced him to four months behind bars and disqualified him from driving for a further five years.

They told the defendant: “You showed a total disregard for the safety of other road users and were clearly totally incapable of controlling the vehicle”.