Man drove through Bourne at 70mph, court hears

Grantham Magistrates' Court
Grantham Magistrates' Court

Only ‘sheer luck’ meant a drink driver did not cause a major accident when he was followed by police at speeds of up to 70mph through Bourne.

Michael Gutteridge, 48, of Almond Court, Thurlby, admitted drink driving, driving dangerously and driving without a proper licence on August 14.

Prosecuting, Jim Clare told Grantham magistrates on Monday, September 28, that in the afternoon of August 14 a police officer on mobile patrol in Bourne saw Gutteridge’s Citroen pass him. The officer’s automatic registration recognition was alerted and he followed the car which began to accelerate.

Mr Clare said Gutteridge went through a red light forcing another vehicle to take evasive action. He continued at 50mph in a 30mph zone, crossing the central white lines on a sharp bend approaching Cherry Holt Road. He then pulled in front of a lorry causing it to turn sharply.

The court heard Gutteridge then drove at 70mph on Willoughby Road, another 30mph zone. He tried to overtake a vehicle on a blind bend causing it to brake sharply. He nearly caused another collision at Northorpe.

Mr Clare said: “It was only sheer luck that his vehicle did not cause a collision.”

Gutteridge finally pulled over and gave a positive breath test which measured 61 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.

Stuart Wilde, defending, said Gutteridge was a full-time carer for his disabled wife. He asked for a probation report before sentencing.

Magistrates decided the case was serious enough to be sent to crown court for sentencing. They ordered a pre-sentence report and imposed an interim driving ban on Gutteridge until his appearance at crown court. He was granted unconditional bail.

○ Grantham magistrates banned Genevieve Sweeney from driving for two years after she was spotted weaving between lanes of the A1 while driving to see her mother drunk.

Sweeney, 31, of Balderton, south of Newark, was stopped by police on the A1 southbound at Stamford on August 22, after reports from other drivers that she had been driving dangerously.

At Grantham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, September 28, Jim Clare, prosecuting, said police were told she was weaving, going onto the grass verge, and had “several” near misses while driving between 45mph and 65mph.

When stopped by police she gave a positive breath test with a reading of 105 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

In mitigation Simon Cobb told the court the incident was “very out of character” for the defendant, who had no previous convictions.

He said Sweeney was “not a big drinker” but had on this occasion had a difficult day at work, followed by a phone conversation with her mother which concerned the loss of her grandmother several months prior.

“She drank some cans of cider at home. Having done so, for reasons she can’t explain she decided to get in her car to try to see her mum.”

Mr Cobb said Sweeney had lost her job as a result of the offence and the impact of it had already been “significant”.

Sweeney admitted drink driving and had her licence revoked for 24 months. She was fined £160, ordered to pay a criminal courts charge of £150, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20. She agreed to take part in a drink drive rehabilitation course which, if completed, would reduce her sentence by 24 weeks.

After sentencing, magistrate Kevin Moody said: “Make this your first and your last time in a court, because they are not nice places to be.”