Drink-driver who crashed car wanted to end his life

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A depressed drink driver who crashed his car while almost four times the limit wanted to end his life, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how store worker Nicholas Cole (26) was found trapped in his Vauxhall Corsa on Burnley Road, Colne, in the early hours.

A police officer, who came across the car in the middle of the road, found it on it’s side, extensively damaged.

Cole was trying to open the front passenger door, the court heard, and the officer smashed the window with his baton so the defendant could climb out.

Cole, who has never been in trouble before, blew 125 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when tested. The legal limit is 35.

The defendant, of Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, admitted driving with excess alcohol on January 23rd.

He was banned for 30 months and received eight weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with £80 victim surcharge and £80 costs.

Keith Rennison (defending) said Cole appreciated the starting point was a custodial sentence.

He was not a man with a particular alcohol problem and he didn’t appear regularly before the courts.

Mr Rennison urged the justices to give the defendant credit for his guilty plea. He said: “He is a man of previous good character who has made a very serious and very stupid mistake and it’s something that he is very unlikely to repeat.”

Mr Rennison said a suspended sentence would hang over Cole and focus his mind, so that he wouldn’t do anything like this again.

The solicitor said a curfew might interfere with the defendant’s working hours.

Mr Rennison added: “He is reluctant to do unpaid work as he is not a particularly criminal individual and would be mixing with other people more criminally sophisticated than himself.

“He would find that distressing and it may lead to problems again with his depression.”