Northumberland pig farmer banned from the roads for drink driving

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A Belford drink-driver has been banned from getting behind the wheel for 19 months.

James Gill, a pig farmer from Shiellow Crag, pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge when he appeared at Berwick Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates heard the 43-year-old was stopped by police on Cragmill Road, Belford on November 30 after they received a report of a suspected drink driver in the Bamburgh and Seahouses area.

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Prosecutor Rehana Haque told the court that Pc Purvis spotted a Suzuki Jimny travelling at low speed in the Easington area. He tried to stop the vehicle but it continued across the A1 junction and on to Cragmill Road before stopping.

Cragmill Road, Belford. Picture c/o Google StreetviewCragmill Road, Belford. Picture c/o Google Streetview
Cragmill Road, Belford. Picture c/o Google Streetview

The defendant gave a positive breath test of 66mg alc/100ml breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

In mitigation, Ian O’Rourke said the defendant had two large glasses of wine earlier in the day but his medication had been changed shortly before the incident and may have caused memory loss.

“It appears to have slipped his mind and he set off for Seahouses to get waste vegetables to feed his pigs,” he said. “When he got there the shop had closed early so he went to get fish and chips and drove back.

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“When the police came up behind him he didn’t think it was for him so he crossed the A1 before being pulled over.

“He is very ashamed to be appearing here.”

The defendant was also fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge. His driving ban will be reduced by 19 weeks on completion of a rehabilitation course.