A tank driver from St Helens who served in Afghanistan is set to be kicked out of the army after he was caught drink driving.
Paul Dunn was caught more than two-and-a-half times the legal drink drive limit in the early hours of March 23 after rushing to the aid of his mum, a victim of domestic violence.
The 27-year-old, who drives Challenger 2 battle tanks for a living, was breathalysed after a police officer spotted him driving a Mazda at speed in Parr at about 1am.
He was arrested after failing a roadside test and a subsequent breath test at the police station showed a reading of 89 microgrammes of booze per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is just 35.
JPs were told Dunn’s mother had struggled to cope after being subjected to a string of violent beatings by her boyfriend.
On one occasion, the thug, who was not named in court, locked her in the house, produced a series of knives and asked her which one he should kill her with.
The court also heard how she had once been forced to lock herself in a bathroom to escape her boyfriend’s clutches – only for him to then smash the door down with a hammer.
He has since been jailed for two-and-a-half years but Dunn’s mother remained petrified and would frequently call on her son at all times of the day and night.
Ian Morris, defending, told how his client had joined the armed forces in 2010 but had been regularly forced to take time off to help his mother.
Mr Morris said Dunn’s mother had been “hysterical” on the night he was caught drink driving and his client had made the mistake of getting behind the wheel of his car to help clear his head.
He described the drink driving conviction as “an absolute disaster” for his client – who is set to be dishonourably discharged from the army within a fortnight.
Magistrates handed Dunn, of Neville Avenue, Parr, a three-year driving ban – despite his guilty plea and co-operation with police.
They also ordered him to pay a £250 fine, £85 towards prosecution costs and a £25 victim surcharge.