Driver who ploughed into wall was drunk

Wigan Magistrates' Court
Wigan Magistrates' Court
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A young driver caused thousands of pounds of damage to a garden wall after his car ploughed into it following a drinking session.

Joseph Gormley was more than double the drink-drive limit when he crashed into another vehicle before careering into a garden in Shevington.

Appearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, the 20-year-old from Beacon View, Standish pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without insurance.

The court was told Gormley had drunk around four pints of lager on the evening of the collision, but believed he felt “okay to drive” before getting behind the wheel of his Ford Fiesta.

It was around 8.30pm, when driving on Shevington Lane, that a black car suddenly stopped in the middle of the road, apparently without warning.

Gormley swerved violently in an attempt to avoid the vehicle, but his inhibited reactions led to him hitting the back of it, causing both vehicles to smash into a garden wall of a house close by to Shevington High School.

Magistrates heard the owners were enjoying a quiet evening at home when they heard what sounded like “a loud firework outside the house.”

After going to investigate, they found two cars lodged in their garden, and the wall significantly damaged.

Without prompt, Gormley said: “It’s my fault, I’m ******.”

Police arrived at the scene and arrested the drunk driver, with a breathalyser test later revealing 70mgs of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal drink-drive limit is currently 35mgs.

The bench was told how the homeowners had estimated the cost of repairs to their property at around £7,000.

Defending, Mr Martin Jones said: “He really can’t explain why he drank alcohol and drove. He says that this was caused by the other driver who didn’t stop properly.

Gormley, a trainee scaffolder, was also found to be driving without insurance at the time, something which his solicitor claimed was not clear-cut wrongdoing.

Mr Jones added: “This is not the case of a young driver having no regard for insurance. He had negotiated an insurance policy which limited him to a certain number of miles, but it was found that he had exceeded the monthly mileage limit and his insurance was cancelled.”

He said Gormley had been in the process of negotiating new cover at the time of the crash.

He was disqualified from driving for 22 months and fined £345 and ordered to pay £300 compensation to the property owner.