Drink-driver banned after bridge collision

Chatton Bridge' Picture by Jane Coltman
Chatton Bridge' Picture by Jane Coltman

A man who crashed through the parapet of Chatton bridge when more than double the drink-drive limit has been banned from the road.

Anthony Elliott, from Rock, near Alnwick, pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared at Berwick Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

The court heard that the 24-year-old had been to the pub with friends on August 26, and originally intended to leave his car there.

However, he changed his mind when he left the pub because it was raining and it was only a short drive to a friend’s house.

Magistrates were told that he misjudged the corner on to the bridge and tipped the vehicle, crashing through the parapet. Fortunately, both the defendant and his passenger escaped serious injury.

He gave a positive breath-test to police shortly afterwards, measuring 92mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

The court heard the defendant, head of maintenance at Ellingham Hall, returned to the scene the following day to find tools worth £3,000 had been taken from the Toyota Hilux. They have still not been found.

Clive McKeag, in defence, said: “It was totally out of character and he is extremely remorseful.”

Probation officer Simon Lathbury said: “It was fortunate he ploughed into a bridge and not into a pedestrian.”

He was banned from driving for 23 months, to be reduced by 16 weeks on completion of a drink-driver rehabilitation course. He must also do 120 hours’ unpaid work.