Bassetlaw drink driver forgot he was banned because of memory problems

A Bassetlaw drink driver who forgot he was banned because of memory problems has been battling alcoholism since he was a teenager, a court has heard.

By Tim Cunningham
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 4:55 pm

Terence Westhead was arrested on Arlington Way, in Retford, after drunkenly reversing into a parked car, on October 22 last year, said prosecutor Dan Church.

He refused to provide a sample of breath but the court heard he was originally disqualified in December 2006, and must pass an extended re-test before he can drive again.

Police next spotted Westhead driving a Vauxhall Astra on Babworth Road, in Retford, on June 17, when he nearly caused a head-on collision. He was arrested and a test revealed he had 97 mcgs of alcohol when the legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Read the latest stories from Mansfield Magistrates Court.

He was stopped driving while disqualified and without insurance on Snipe Park Road, in Bircotes, at 3.40am, on February 5.

The court heard he has nine previous convictions for 17 offences, including convictions for drink driving in 2006 and 2012.

Probation officer Raqio Bano said: "He believed his last offence was over nine years ago and he received no information about reapplying for his licence. He disputed the disqualification and thought he was legally entitled to drive."

She said Westhead wasn't thinking clearly because of brain damage as a result of an overdose in the past and finds it difficult to retain information.

Ryan Higginbotham, mitigating, said: "He hasn't troubled the court for ten years. Alcohol is clearly the primary issue in his offending. He has battled alcoholism since he was 14.

“He struggles to commit things to memory.”

Westhead, 39, of Armstrong Road, Retford, admitted drink driving, and driving without a licence and while disqualified, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

District Judge Andrew Meachin told him: "I could easily send you to jail - your record is littered with similar offences."

He sentenced him to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered 20 rehabilitation days and a six-month alcohol treatment programme.

Westhead was also ordered to pay a £128 surcharge and £85 costs.

He was banned for 36 months, but a rehabilitation course for drink-drivers will reduce the disqualification by 274 days if he completes it before September 2023.