Nurse crashed after downing Dutch courage before meet with partner

A nervous nurse downed vodka for Dutch courage before meeting his partner to discuss their future but crashed on his way there, a court heard.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 1:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 1:21 pm
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

Aaron Swanton’s black Ford Focus was spotted swerving by a member of the public on Gainsborough Road, near Everton, at 10.15am, on January 3.

“His car struck the central reservation and burst a tyre,” said Lee Shepherd, prosecuting. “He was changing the tyre when police arrived.

“He told police he had a drink at 9.45am for Dutch courage before seeing his partner.”

A test revealed he had 47 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The court heard he was banned for two years in 2015, after he was caught driving more then two times over the limit.

Michael Little, mitigating, said Swanton, 37, had been a nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary for 17 years, but misused alcohol to deal with depression.

He said Swanton and his partner were having a trial separation and he had been on his way to meet her and discuss a reconciliation when he was arrested.

“Because he was nervous about what would happen, he had a couple of glasses of spirits,” said Mr Little.

Swanton, formerly of Grove Avenue, Doncaster, was living with his parents in Corringham, Essex, the court heard. He admitted driving with excess alcohol at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Thursday.

District Judge Andrew Mechin said: “The fact you’re drinking in the morning concerns me.

“You have put yourself in a precarious position by appearing in court again in such a short space of time.

“You collided with the central reservation and that could have been someone else.

“It’s always very sad when the person who appears before me when they’re in an industry that’s very worthwhile. We all have our problems. You seem to think that you will drink and drive. You are getting very close to the court considering sending you to prison.”

He gave Swanton a 12 month community order, with a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement, and ordered him to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.

He was banned for three years, costs of £85 and an £85 victim surcharge.