Man flouted court order after ‘dying three times’

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court
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A drink driver who didn’t turn up for unpaid work he was sentenced to told probation staff he had been in hospital and died three times, a court heard.

Michael Marshall (38), who had twice been sent off site due to his behaviour when he had been to work, went on to describe himself as a problematic drinker, the issue had escalated over the last two years and he was not able to function normally. He apologised for his conduct.

A probation officer told Burnley magistrates: “He said he had been in hospital for his alcohol misuse and it was stupid of him to say he had died when obviously he had not.”

The hearing was told he was referred to Inspire - the treatment service - but didn’t go to appointments there either and did not attend a further unpaid work session he was told to.

The probation officer added: “He is either unwilling or unable to comply with unpaid work.”

Marshall, of Park Road, Barnoldswick, admitted failing to comply with the order, imposed last June.

He was given a 12 month community order with a 40 day rehabilitation activity requirement, which encompasses an alcohol treatment programme.

The previous hearing had been told how Marshall had been more than four times the legal limit when he smashed into a kerb and a bush and tried to drive on with flat tyres.

He had finally had to pull over when his Audi A6 started to fill with smoke. His girlfriend was in the passenger seat.

The court heard police breath-tested Marshall at the roadside after the early hours incident near Boundary Mill at the end of the M65 and it was positive.

He gave a sample showing 147 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath at the police station - the legal limit is 35.

The defendant had admitted driving with excess alcohol in Vivary Way, Colne, on May 24th, last year.

He had been given a 12 month community order with 200 hours unpaid work and fined £250, with a £25 victim surcharge, £85 costs and a £150 criminal court charge. Marshall had been banned from driving for 30 months.

Philip Turner, representing Marshall at the breach hearing, said Marshall had been living with his father, who was a heavy drinker and whilst the defendant had intended to attend Inspire, he found himself drinking heavily at home with his father.

He was now living with his mother who was supporting him. He had wanted to get work but his drinking had prevented any success.

Mr Turner added: “He has had an evening in the cells to reflect on his position. He says he would welcome any opportunity he might be given with an order with an alcohol treatment requirement.”