Grandma drowned her sorrows with a bottle of vodka, court hears

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A Brierfield grandma sat in her car all day, drowning her sorrows with a bottle of vodka, after her relationship broke down, a court heard.

Angela Roberts (54) had parked up in Kings Causeway at about 10am and was still there at around 6-30pm when police, alerted by a concerned member of the public who feared she might drive, turned up.

Roberts, after several attempts, gave a police station breath test which showed 127 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35 - but didn’t give a second sample.

The defendant, Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told, had no idea she had done anything wrong, but she has now ended up with a criminal record, after admitting failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Roberts, now living at Mallard Place, Oswaldtwistle, was fined £180, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge and was given 10 penalty points. She had no previous convictions.

Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann told the hearing police found Roberts sitting in the car.

She said: “She seems to have been clearly drunk. She was asked to get out of the car, struggled to stand up and wasn’t clearly understanding what the officer was saying to her when he was asking her for the keys.

“The officer says in the vehicle he noticed there was a bottle of vodka with a bit of alcohol left in it and some coke bottles as well.”

Mrs Mann said: “She was obviously quite severely over the legal limit.

“There is no suggestion she had driven the vehicle. The witness who telephoned the police said the defendant made some comment she might be off soon.”

Mr John Rusius (defending) said the relationship breakdown had caused Roberts a great deal of upset.

He said: “She decided to sit in the car all day and consume a bottle of vodka.

“She parked up at about 10am or 11am and was not seen by the police until half six-ish.

“What she says is she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong. She was just sitting in her car, drinking. She didn’t realise it was an offence. She was just going to walk home around the corner and sleep it off. “

“She did her best to provide samples. She provided one, but for some reason, she didn’t provide another. She can only imagine because of the fact she consumed this bottle of vodka perhaps she was unable to.”