Disqualified driver ‘planned to kill herself’

A woman caught driving while disqualified had driven to the Snake Pass to kill herself, a court heard.

Police were called to the A57 Snake Pass just before 11pm on June 13 after receiving reports of an erratic driver, High Peak Magistrates’ Court heard. On arrival they saw a Nissan Terrano driving slowly towards Glossop, holding up the traffic behind, prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said.

The vehicle stopped and officers went to speak to the driver, Joanna Lanera, who was slumped in her seat and smelt strongly of alcohol. She refused to provide a specimen of breath at the roadside and was arrested and taken to Buxton police station, where she again refused to provide a specimen. She had been disqualified from driving on October 17 2012 for drink-driving, the court heard.

Lanera, 38, of Tapton Hill Road, Sheffield, admitted failing to provide a specimen and driving whilst disqualified.

James Riley, defending, said: “This is a difficult case because the reason this defendant was on the road at all was because she was seeking to end her own life.

“She took the decision to drive from Sheffield, not having consumed any alcohol at that stage, and go to the Snake Pass and drive her car off a high point borne out of the depression and mental illness she suffers from.

“The alcohol was consumed in a lay-by and her driving thereafter was slow, causing inconvenience, and she was noticed by the police and arrested, thankfully before she fulfilled the intention she had set out to do.”

The case was adjourned until July 22 for a pre-sentence report.