Jail for drunk driver who went wrong way down A1

A DRUNKEN motorist who drove the wrong way down the A1 in North Notts at night has been jailed.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 23rd October 2012, 9:00 am

A judge told former Iraqi national Hawzhen Pute, 30, it was an ‘horrendously dangerous piece of driving’.

“You could have killed a number of people,” he said.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that several road users had to take evasive action to avoid a collision at about 9.30pm on 30th August.

They included a man travelling north between Markham Moor and Elkesley with his wife and four children.

Jim Metcalf, prosecuting, said they were doing about 60mph when they saw headlights coming towards them on the wrong side of the road.

Pute was driving extremely slowly at about 10mph in his Vauxhall Astra, and keeping towards the central barrier.

Police received a number of calls about the car heading south and located it near a Shell garage at Markham Moor.

Pute, of Clipstone Avenue, Nottingham, failed a breath test and was found to be two and a half times the legal alcohol limit.

He admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

The car had a flat tyre and damage to the front off-side wing.

Pute told the police he had been at home when he received a call from an Iraqi friend in Doncaster whose child had been involved in an accident.

Although he had drunk a quarter of a bottle of whisky he got into his car and set off for Doncaster.

He took a friend with him. The friend later called the police to say Pute had stopped at the roadside for his passenger to relieve himself but had then driven off without him.

Pute was of previous good character and had gained British citizenship last year, the court was told. It had taken him 10 years after arriving here to seek asylum.

He had formed a relationship with a woman and got a job as a supervisor at a garage.

Pute said he believed he had a blow out on the road and made a U-turn to get to a garage.

Judge Nigel Godsmark said the offence was so serious there had to be a six months prison sentence and a three year disqualification.