Drunk driver missed hearing after falling down hole

Wigan Magistrates' Court
Wigan Magistrates' Court
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A woman turned up eight months late for a court hearing after she was caught drink driving.

Wigan Magistrates Court heard Linda Hill, 65, missed her original court date in June last year after falling down an open manhole cover and badly breaking her leg in between committing the offence and the hearing.

But because no one had informed the court, a warrant was issued for her arrest and was only withdrawn when Hill, of Ashby Road, Hawkley Hall, attended court this week.

Martin Jones, defending, said: “This an unusual case. Mrs Hill is 65 and has no experience of court proceedings. She fell down an open manhole cover and broke her leg very badly. She was in hospital for about three weeks and she was then in a wheelchair for a substantial period.

“She didn’t notify the court because she didn’t remember anything at all about this offence. She is not disputing the offence but she does not recall being arrested, taken to the police station, breathalysed or charged.”

In light of Mr Jones submissions, the prosecution agreed to drop bail action against her for missing the original hearing.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said: “Mrs Hill was seen driving a Nissan Micra on the car park at the Co-op in Hawkley Hall by two police officers who had seen her in the store staggering.

“They pulled her over almost immediately after she drove on to the road and could tell she was drunk.

The court heard that when Hill was breathalysed at the police station, she was found to have 87 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood compared to the legal limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Mr Jones said: “Mrs Hill cannot remember the incident but admits she had a problem with drink at that time.”

Hill pleaded guilty to the drink driving charge and was disqualified from driving for 18 months. She was also fined £120 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.