Drink-drive mum’s distress over soldier son

Burnley Magistrates' Court

Burnley Magistrates' Court

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A mother said to be more than three times the drink-drive limit had turned to alcohol when her soldier son was fighting in Afghanistan.

Burnley magistrates were told how Mary Cuthbert (54) was caught in the middle of the afternoon, after she reversed into another car on Cog Lane in the town.

The motorist believed she might be drunk and called the police. Cuthbert told officers she had been drinking vodka earlier into day.

The defendant, whose alcohol issues started in around 2009, couldn’t provide a second breath test at the police station. The first sample showed 116 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35. Cuthbert, of Rossendale Road, Burnley, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis, on January 13th.
She was given a 12-month community order, with a 30- day rehabilitation activity requirement and must pay £85 costs, a £85 victim surcharge and a £50 fine. She was banned for two years. Cuthbert had no previous convictions.

Mr Jeremy Frain, defending, said Cuthbert provided an extremely high reading at the police station and that caused concern to her husband and the probation service.

“It’s quite clear Mary Cuthbert has an alcohol problem. To a certain extent she has accepted that to me. One of her sons had been fighting in Afghanistan and that had caused her a great deal of distress. She had not been able to cope with that deployment and used alcohol, as it were, as a plaster. But, of course, it is not the answer.”