Wigan motorist phoned 999 after crashing his car into a garden while drunk

A Wigan motorist phoned 999 to admit he had crashed his car into a garden while drunk.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 10:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 12:05 pm
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Wigan justices heard Gareth Burgess rang 999 to report the incident and when officers went to his home in Northumberland Street, Whelley, he told them he had left his car on Durham Street.

The 37-year-old was arrested and tests showed he had 119 microgrammes of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mgs.

Police found the Vauxhall Corsa in the front garden of a house on Durham Street and it had “very clearly hit something”, prosuector Simon Leong said. Neighbours reported going outside when they heard a crash, spoke to Burgess and took his keys.

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Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Mr Leong said CCTV footage showed the car crashing into the garden, Burgess getting out and speaking to neighbours. He pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and while over the drink-drive limit.

Two further charges, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident, were dropped when the prosecution offered no evidence.

Andrew Costello, defending, said Burgess had struggled with depression and anxiety following a relationship breakdown and occasionally drank too much. He struggled to maintain contact with his children but supported them financially. He also had debts of around £20,000.

He worked for an agency as a forklift truck driver, but was let go when he did not attend work due to being in custody after the arrest.

Sentencing, chair of the bench said she was “extremely pleased” Burgess understood the seriousness of the offence and was already trying to make changes.

He was banned from driving for 28 months, which can be reduced if he completes a rehabilitation course.

A community order was imposed with an eight-week night-time curfew, six-month alcohol treatment requirement and six rehabilitation activity days.

Burgess must pay an £85 victim surcharge, but magistrates decided not to make him pay costs due to his limited means and debt.