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Ben Beattie in King’s Lynn court after drink-driving in Dersingham

A drink-driver’s solicitor argued that his poor manner of driving was down to the narrow state of his home street.

Ben Beattie, 40, was driving along Post Office Road in Dersingham on February 13 when he was spotted by a police officer travelling in the opposite direction.

The officer was forced to brake and swerve out of the way to avoid a crash with Beattie, who had crossed onto the wrong side of the road.

Centre Vale Road in Dersingham, where Ben Beattie lives, was described as 'unadopted' by his solicitor. Picture: Google Maps
Centre Vale Road in Dersingham, where Ben Beattie lives, was described as 'unadopted' by his solicitor. Picture: Google Maps

Beattie appeared confused, indicating one way before turning another, and the police became concerned that he was attempting to evade them.

However, after they followed him down Centre Vale in Dersingham, they realised he had simply been making a poor attempt at parking outside of his home address.

Beattie subsequently failed a roadside breath test and was arrested. In custody, an evidential test revealed he had 94mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath, exceeding the legal driving limit of 35mcg.

He appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

Mitigating, solicitor Andrew Cogan said: “Sir, I don’t know if you our your colleagues know the Centre Vale road, but the manner of driving is probably explained by the kind of road that it is.”

He proceeded to show magistrates a street view of the area, highlighting its narrow nature and describing it as an “unadopted road”.

“Cars park side by side, and there is nothing to stop them from doing so,” Mr Cogan added.

“It does appear that the amount of room for maneuvering is pretty small.

“Mr Beattie is stopped, and of course he then co-operates fully with the police in terms of the actions that he takes.”

The solicitor then read magistrates a letter provided by Beattie, which said he had finished work on the day of his offence before having “a couple of drinks” during a walk because he was “stressed”.

He then picked up a prescription from a chemist before starting to drive.

His letter said he had nothing to eat at all on the day and had also consumed alcohol the previous night, which he said would have contributed to a higher reading.

He said he “greatly regretted” drink-driving, but said his poor mental health, ADHD and depression were contributing factors.

“I thought I would be able to drive the short distance to my home after a few drinks,” he wrote.”

Magistrates asked the probation service to carry out a full pre-sentence report on Beattie before deciding on his fate.

Probation officer Lewis Spicer said a questionnaire revealed Beattie has a 14% chance of re-offending within two years - a low likelihood.

He said there was no structured programme or rehabilitation sessions that could benefit Beattie, and added that he is already seeking support with his mental health.

Magistrates therefore decided to fine the defendant £384, while he will also pay a £154 victim surcharge and £105 in legal costs.

Beattie has also been disqualified from driving for three years.

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