Drink-driver was giving assault victim lift home

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A St Helens woman caught drink driving following a family party claimed she had unexpectedly been called upon to give an assault victim a lift home.

Mum-of-two Emma Pennington admitted she had been nearly three times the limit before St Helens Magistrates’ Court last week, but avoided a community order because of the circumstances of the offence.

Prosecutor Angela Blackmore told how police spotted the 30-year-old driving her Vauxhall Zafira the wrong way down Greenfield Road – a one-way street – with no lights on at about 1.45am on May 11.

They then breathalysed her after watching her struggle to park.

A subsequent test at the police station provided a reading of 101 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is just 35.

Chris Maloney, defending, told how his client had been at her sister’s 21st birthday party and had intended to stay over - only for one of the guests to be assaulted during the course of the night. Foolishly, Pennington offered to give the victim a lift home.

Mr Maloney admitted his client had made a “rash decision” but called for leniency given her early guilty plea and unforeseen circumstances which had led to the offence.

Magistrates banned Pennington, of Brynn Street, from driving for 24 months but offered her the opportunity to reduce that sentence by six months by completing a drink driver rehabilitation course.

She was fined £450 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £45 victim surcharge.