Dad told police he couldn’t give breath test as he had gonorrhoea

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.
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A “ heavily intoxicated” driver who wouldn’t give a police station breath test told officers he couldn’t as he had gonorrhoea, a court heard.

Father-of-four Adrian Ian Cottam (29) had blown 103 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – almost three times the legal limit – at the roadside after he was spotted weaving in the road and was stopped. The limit is 35.

Burnley magistrates were told how Cottam, a self-employed gardener, at first co-operated at the police station, but then became a bit obstructive, either not answering questions or answering them sillily. Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann said when he was asked if he had any medical conditions that prevented him giving a test, he replied : “chlamydia, herpes and gonorrhoea.”

Cottam, who has a conviction for drink driving, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis, at Burnley, on February 21st. The defendant, of Manchester Road, Hapton, was given an eight week curfew, between 8pm and 8am, seven days a week and was banned for three years. He was ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Mrs Mann told the hearing Cottam was stopped in Padiham town centre at 1-45am, as police thought he might be over the limit. He clearly was, but didn’t provide a sample of breath at the police station.

David Lawson, in mitigation, said Cottam apologised. At the police station he had realised the foolishness of his actions.

Cottam had not intended to ive under the influence of alcohol, but his girlfriend, who worked at a Padiham pub, telephoned him with reports of a disturbance. The solicitor continued: “He accepts he didn’t think clearly and he went to see if she was all right. He drove a short distance and there weren’t many people on the road at the time.”

The defendant had made real efforts to avoid being in court. The solicitor added: “He is a self-employed gardener and as a consequence of this conviction is obviously going to be caused some difficulties.”

The Bench chairman said Cottam was “ heavily intoxicated” and it was fortunate nobody was injured. Mr John James, who, along with his colleagues had read two references on the defendant’s behalf, including one from a cattery, told him: “The references paint a picture of a courteous, caring young man.”