Worksop drink driver ‘panicked’, drove into hedge and lashed out at cop

An "uncooperative and abusive" HGV driver who lashed out at a police officer after he was arrested for drink driving “panicked” when he drove into a hedge, a court has heard.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Police began following Matthew Watson on Carlton Road after his white Suzuk Swift nearly collided with the kerb at 1.10am on March 9, said Alexis Mercer, prosecuting.

When their blue lights were activated he turned off the road and ploughed into a hedge.

"He seemed quite worked up and displayed aggressive body language," said Ms Mercer. "He shouted, "Stay the f*** away from me.""

Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.
Mansfield Magistrates court, Rosemary Street.

The officer thought Watson was going to run and took hold of him. A struggle ensued and as he took Watson to the ground he punched the officer in the head.

"There was no reasoning with him," said Ms Mercer. "He refused to provide his details or take part in a roadside breath test."

A breath test showed he had 60 microgrammes of alcohol when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The court heard he has one previous conviction for assaulting an emergency worker from January this year.

Read More
Reports from the courts: the latest cases in Mansfield, Ashfield and Bassetlaw

Nichola Thorpe, mitigating, said Watson thought he was covered to drive his partner's car on his own insurance.

"It was genuine mistake,” she said. “He felt OK to drive. When he went off road he panicked. He didn't intend to assault the officer and is sorry.”

She said Watson has had “quite a difficult few months” and is now taking medication for his mental health.

"Family issues caused him to drink more and he was behaving out of character,” she said. “He has stopped drinking. He is an HGV driver and the inevitable ban will have a huge impact.”

Watson, 34, of Rydal Drive, Worksop, admitted assaulting an emergency worker, drink driving and driving without insurance, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Tuesday.

“It's a really worrying situation,” the presiding magistrate told him. “It may be that the probation service can help you and get you back on track. It's very unusual for someone of your age to come to court like this.”

Sentencing was adjourned until April 16 for probation reports and an interim disqualification was imposed.