Wigan driver refused to take breath test at police station after crashing car into garden wall

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

A Wigan man refused to be breathalysed at the police station after ploughing his car into a garden wall, a court heard.

Sean Hilton, of Mornington Road in Hindley, was given a 12-month community order including a curfew and banned from the road for two years when he appeared before Wigan magistrates.

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Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon said residents on Liverpool Road, Platt Bridge, had been woken at about 12.30am by a loud bang as a vehicle collided with a garden wall.

The driver walked away from the scene but police traced the car to an address on Abingdon Drive and were told by its registered keeper that her boyfriend used the car.

Hilton, 33, then turned up and admitted to officers he had been driving and had lost control.

After giving a breath sample which was three times over the limit he was arrested but then refused to provide a second specimen, having become argumentative at the police station while being booked in.

Ms Kenyon said: “He was given adequate opportunities to provide a sample but refused and was then taken to his cell. This was a deliberate refusal and greater harm was caused considering the roadside reading and the fact there was a collision.”

Defending, Paul Green said his client fully accepted what he had done and was devastated both by refusing to co-operate with the police and by the collision with the garden wall.

“He deeply regrets his actions on the day of the incident. He feels embarrassed by what he has done and recognises that it could have been much more serious.

“He is aware of the dangers of drink-driving. He expressed to me that he is grateful no-one was injured. He is also embarrassed by his conduct towards the police officers. This has been a wake-up call for him.”

The court heard Hilton runs his own brickwork business and was making arrangements for his three staff to keep their jobs by providing alternative drivers for them to get to work.

Mr Green said the incident occurred soon after a relationship broke down but stressed his client did not want the bench to think he was making excuses. The court also heard Hilton had not had a drink since the day of the incident. He was not charged with drink-driving because there were insufficient samples

The magistrates gave him the year-long community order with 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and a 12-week curfew from 8pm until 6am. He was banned from driving for 24 months and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge.