Sportsman’s do decision led to drink-drive ban for Wigan dad

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A father who got behind the wheel after attending a sportsman’s dinner crashed into another car and broke his ankle, a court heard.

Mark Demings, 38, had planned to get a taxi home from the event, but left early after falling out with a friend.

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But Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard he saw his car and decided to get in it in an “intoxicated state”.

Kathryn Lloyd, defending, said: “It hadn’t been his plan, but he foolishly made that decision when he saw the vehicle there.”

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said Demings crashed his Honda Civic into a BMW driving on the opposite side of the road on Whelley.

One witness reported seeing the car travelling “erratically”, without lights, veering onto the other side and not responding to attempts by other motorists to get his attention.

The driver of the BMW said he was hit by a vehicle that was speeding and had no lights on.

Both cars were damaged in the crash and a roadside breath test showed Demings had 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mgs.

He was arrested and taken to Wigan Infirmary for treatment, where he refused to give a sample of blood for analysis by the police.

Ms Lloyd said Demings, of Lockgate Place, Poolstock, was “quite seriously injured” in the crash, suffering a broken ankle which was not picked up until he returned to hospital two days

later.

His memory of what happened in hospital was “very scant”, perhaps due to shock, pain and drinking, the court heard.

Ms Lloyd said his insurance company believed the collision was the fault of the other driver, with statements from witnesses saying he pulled out into the road. However, she conceded Demings’ car did not have lights on.

She said: “What Mr Demings doesn’t accept is he was on the wrong side of the road and simply collided head-on because the damage does not suggest that was the case.”

Warehouse operative Demings will now use public transport to get to work in Skelmersdale, but losing his driving licence caused childcare issues.

He pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on February 1 and failing to provide a specimen of blood for

analysis.

Magistrates imposed a 24-month driving ban, which can be reduced if he completes a rehabilitation course, and a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He must pay £85 cost and £85 victim surcharge.