Drink-driver took to the road to help brother-in-law after homophobic attack

A drink-drive breathalyser.
A drink-drive breathalyser.

A drink-driver was caught over the limit after he took to the road to help a relative who had been subjected to a homophobic attack.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 15 how Brian Cowley, 42, of Hawksley Avenue, Newbold, Chesterfield, was caught by police on Newbold Road, Chesterfield, in a Jaguar Premium over twice the legal drink-drive limit.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “An officer was on patrol at 2.40am, on September 29, and was stationary on Sheffield Road and saw a Jaguar pull in behind and pull out without indicating.

“The officer said the vehicle drove off at speed and he followed the vehicle and caught up with it on Newbold Road where it went to a petrol station before coming to a stop.”

Mrs Allsop added that the officer spoke to Cowley who had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol.

He told police he had consumed alcohol at home and had gone into town to pick up a relative who had been out that evening.

Cowley, who is a foundry worker, registered 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35 microgrammes, according to the court.

The defendant, who has two previous drink-drive convictions, pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit.

Defence solicitor Ben Manovitch said Cowley had drinks and was having a takeaway at home when his brother-in-law phoned asking to be picked up after he said he had been subjected to a homophobic attack in Chesterfield town centre.

Cowley responded immediately without thinking, according to Mr Manovitch, and the defendant claimed that despite failing to indicate his driving had been fine.

Mr Manovitch said: “The defence says the only reason why he was driving was in response to an emergency and it was only a short distance.”

He added: “He has been remorseful and recognises it was a foolish mistake and he did not have to drive into town and he recognises that he should receive a punishment for his mistake.”

Magistrates fined Cowley £461 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £46 victim surcharge.

He was also disqualified from driving for 20 months but he can reduce his ban by 22 weeks if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course.