Drink-driver had stolen knives in car

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A DRINK-driver found two and a half times the legal limit when stopped in the car park of a Wigan supermarket has been disqualified for 20 months.

Diane McFarlane, of Oak Avenue, Haydock, was also caught with £195 worth of kitchen knives she had stolen from the Sainsbury’s store in Marus Bridge.

A hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court was told the 44-year-old had visited the supermarket twice on Valentine’s Day this year and had been identified by security guards as acting suspiciously. After the second visit, McFarlane was seen driving erratically in the car park and after being pulled over officers said she smelt of alcohol.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, said the defendant was asked about the security guard’s suspicions that she had stolen something on her first visit.

She was moments later heard speaking on the phone telling someone to “get rid of the stuff because we’re in deep (trouble)”.

McFarlane told police officers she could not give a breath sample because she suffered from asthma.

But a blood sample taken later showed an alcohol level of 204mg per 100ml, the legal limit is 80mg.

In mitigation, the magistrates were told McFarlane was “an intelligent and eloquent woman, who is not a nuisance and who will not trouble the court again”.

She has sought out counselling having suffered from depression and was prone to bouts of heavy drinking “from time to time”.

And she has been put into contact with charity and therapist group Addaction and would be contacting her GP about further treatment.

Having pleaded guilty to both charges, for drink driving, the magistrates disqualified McFarlane for 20 months and she was ordered to pay fines totalling £110.

She also received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £195 compensation for the theft of the kitchen items.

Anyone convicted of drink driving offences automatically faces a road ban.