Clowne driver in road suicide bid

A CLOWNE man drank vodka then drove into a bus shelter in a bid to kill himself, a court heard.

Motorist Stuart Turner noticed a Suzuki Liana being driven erratically along Buttermilk Lane, Shuttlewood, on 7th March.

He saw the vehicle drift across the road towards oncoming traffic and then return to its correct side a number of times.

“It seemed to speed up before turning 45 degrees off the road into a bus shelter,” prosecutor Helen Griffiths told Chesterfield magistrates.

“Mr Turner asked the driver if he was okay and he replied: ‘No, not really, I’ve just tried to kill myself’.”

John Clegg, 51, was arrested. He told police he was unhappy because his suicide bid failed.

He was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where a blood sample taken revealed 243mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood – more than three times the 80mgs limit.

Clegg, of North Road, Clowne, had appeared in court earlier that day.

The case was adjourned and, after leaving court, he bought a bottle of vodka and drank most of it while parked near the former Coalite plant.

He then drove into the bus shelter.

“He said he felt low because of domestic problems and losing his job of 34 years,” added Mrs Griffiths.

Clegg admitted drink-driving and was given a nine month probation supervision order and a three-year driving ban, with £85 costs.

His solicitor, Bob Bashforth, said he became depressed after losing his job two years ago.

“He couldn’t find any work that suited him. There were domestic problems and he started to drink and this led to a court appearance.”

“He drank vodka and decided to end it all by driving into the bus shelter – but the airbag saved him.”

“He had made two previous attempts on his life by taking an overdose and he is under the care of the local mental health department,” added Mr Bashforth.