Man run down by his own van, court hears

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A DRINK-DRIVER found apparently unconscious on a grass verge by police had been run down by his own van, a court heard.

Andrew Haimes, who was to turn out to be almost four times the limit, was lying on his back. His Mercedes Vito vehicle was two metres away, crashed in a ditch against an allotment shed and was badly damaged.

Haimes came to and was taken to hospital by ambulance. He had been slurring his words and his eyes were glazed. A test, almost four hours later, showed 116 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35, Pennine magistrates were told.

The court heard the defendant claimed the handbrake on the van was controlled by a foot pedal, the handbrake came off and he ended up on the ground after the vehicle rolled back into him.

Self-employed Haimes (47), who has a previous drink drive conviction, from 1997, admitted excess alcohol on Rothesay Road, Brierfield, on September 18th. The defendant, of Elland Road, Brierfield, was bailed until Thursday for a pre- sentence report and the Bench told him they were thinking of a high community penalty, with unpaid work and supervision to address any alcohol issues.

Mrs Hilary Rees (prosecuting) said paramedics were called and Haimes told them he had been drinking in a pub and had driven the van to where it was. An ambulance crew member told him that was naughty and the defendant replied: “Very naughty.”

Mrs Rees added the breath test was taken at about 12-45 a.m., after the defendant had been released from hospital. He made admissions at the police station.

Miss Angela Rossi, for Haimes, said he had watched football at the pub and maintained he had been drinking shandy. He went home, but could not park near his property, as there was a volleyball tournament at nearby tennis courts.

Haimes parked up, went home and had quite a lot of alcohol. He was worried his tools would be stolen from the van and foolishly decided to drive the vehicle from where it was parked and put it where he would be able to see it. He had only gone a short distance when he heard rattling in the back of the van, stopped, got out and the van rolled back into him.

Miss Rossi said the defendant maintained the van was only a very short distance from his home.

Haimes’s business partner was not allowed to drive because of a medical condition. The solicitor added: “A ban may well have some rather serious consequences, not just for the defendant, but for his employees.”