Drink-driving Colne carer sacked

The defendant's employment has been ceased as a result of the incident.
The defendant's employment has been ceased as a result of the incident.
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A Colne carer caught over twice the drink-drive limit in the early hours has paid the price with her job, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Deborah Tonkinson, who had never been in trouble before, blew 84 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the roadside and 72 microgrammes at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

The 53-year-old claimed she got behind the wheel because she had been at the house of her "soulmate" ex-partner and he had made threats, including about her dog, which was with her.

Miss Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said at 1.27am police followed the defendant as she was driving very slowly and swerving from left to right. They pulled her over and suspected she had been drinking.

Mr Glen Smith, defending Tonkinson, said the conviction and inevitable sentence would have a significant impact on her life.

The solicitor said she suffered quite seriously from depression and went to the home of her ex-partner, who she described as her soulmate. He said: "They can't live together any longer. She went to see him and they had some drink. She had taken her dog with her. The evening continued and she drank more than she certainly anticipated."

Mr Smith said unfortunately, the man "expected rather more in terms of outcome," and things got rather unpleasant. Threats were made and she got out of the house and got in her car as quickly as possible. The solicitor went on: "She feared for her dog's welfare."

Mr Smith told the hearing: "Her employment will cease today on losing her licence." He added Tonkinson had been accompanied to court by the ex-partner and "he accepted he caused her to flee in that state of mind."

The defendant, of Basil Street in Colne, admitted driving with excess alcohol on Southfield Lane in Colne on August 11. She was banned for 17 months and was fined £120, with a £30 victim surcharge.