Cutting across mini-roundabout leads to Berwick man's arrest and fine

A Berwick man who came to the attention of police when cutting across a mini-roundabout has been ordered by magistrates to pay fines and costs of over £750.
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Matthew Leiper, 44, pleaded guilty to obstructing or resisting a police constable when he appeared at Berwick Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

He also admitted a charge of failing to stop his vehicle when required to do so.

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James Long, prosecuting, said: “The matter dates back to May 6 last year when PC White and PC Reynolds are on duty in Berwick town centre and see the defendant’s vehicle driving from Marygate to Golden Square cutting across the mini-roundabout

The mini-roundabout at Marygate and Golden Square in Berwick. Picture: GoogleThe mini-roundabout at Marygate and Golden Square in Berwick. Picture: Google
The mini-roundabout at Marygate and Golden Square in Berwick. Picture: Google

“They were slightly concerned about the manner of driving and suspected drink driving so put their lights on to get the defendant to stop but he continued to drive.

"They followed the defendant’s vehicle (without lights) to his home address and noticed he failed to indicate at every turn.”

The court heard the defendant was ‘hostile’ towards officers when approached, refused to provide a roadside breath test and resisted when they tried to handcuff him. PC White suffered a thumb injury in the struggle which culminated in police using an incapacitant spray in the defendant’s face.

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Ian O’Rourke, defending, told the court that the defendant was well known in the town for his food and fairground businesses often seen on market day.

He said: “On this particular Saturday around 9.55pm he was driving through Berwick. It was quiet and he goes around the mini-roundabout at Golden Square and, as many people do, he cut across. It’s actually very difficult to go all the way around that mini-roundabout.”

He said the defendant, of Silver Street, had been having serious mental health issues including depression at the time of the incident. As a result his businesses had suffered.

He told magistrates the defendant did not drink and that the blood sample taken had shown no evidence of drink driving.

Magistrates imposed a £187 fine for resisting an officer and ordered him to pay £50 compensation along with £450 court costs and an £85 surcharge totalling £762.