Ex-school head receives driving ban after being found drunk

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AN ex-headteacher who damaged the door of a Wigan police cell after being found drunk at the wheel of her car has been handed a driving ban.

In what her defence lawyer called “an extremely sad” case, Marian Moulton lost her licence and was ordered to pay £282 costs at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court this week.

The court heard that Moulton was suffering from severe bouts of depression and had turned to alcohol to cope with spiralling pressures in her work and family life.

After she was taken into custody having been found drunk in Pennington Flash car park in Leigh, she “scratched words” into a cell door at Wigan police station with her engagement ring, the court heard.

In her drunken state having been arrested, she refused to provide a specimen sample for analysis, prosecutor Mike Ardern said.

Peter Moran, defending, explained that Moulton had become acting headteacher at Gilnow Primary School in Bolton and had turned around its performance.

He said: “She was working 14 hour days and she lost her mother to cancer during this time and became depressed.

“She has turned to drinking at times to take away or alleviate her feelings. She remains a vulnerable person and has a very supportive family.” Mr Moran added that Moulton, who cried as she left the dock, was “absolutely mortified” with having to appear in court and has been attending counselling for her alcohol related problems.

Mr Ardern had told the court that members of the public and an off-duty police officer had been concerned for Moulton’s welfare after she was seen driving erratically in the Flash’s car park earlier this month.

She was mumbling her speech and smelled of alcohol. Once officers were called and she was taken to Wigan, she behaved in an obstructive manner as she was taken to the cells.

The 51-year-old, of Mandley Close, Little Lever, was ordered to pay a fine of £127, criminal damage costs of £50, a victim surcharge of £20 and additional costs of £85. She also received a 24-month driving ban after pleading guilty to failing to provide a specimen and criminal damage.

Presiding magistrate Patricia Eccleston said: “We really hope, Mrs Moulton, that you can change your life around.”