Fisherman caught over drink limit

Stephen Meade
Stephen Meade

A FISHERMAN was caught almost twice the drink-drive limit after a group of youngsters found him fast asleep at the wheel of his car with the engine running.

Stephen Meade was parked up outside of the Tesco Express store at Fens Shops, off Catcote Road, in Hartlepool, when some youngsters went past and spotted him snoozing.

The car doors were locked and the engine was running, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court was told.

The kids told passing police officers about the “unresponsive” 25-year-old, and an ambulance was called as a precaution.

Officers managed to rouse napping Meade who was then aggressive to them, and when he opened the vehicle’s doors, a can of Fosters lager was found inside.

Prosecuting, Lynne Roberts-Ploughman said: “It was 2.15pm when officers on foot patrol were alerted by youths to a male who appeared to be asleep in the Tesco Express car park, in Catcote Road.

“His vehicle was locked and the engine was running. The man was initially unresponsive, and as a precaution an ambulance was called.

“He came round and was aggressive to officers and his eyes were glazed. The officers formed the opinion that he’d been drinking.”

Meade, of Kesteven Road, on the Fens Estate, in Hartlepool, was taken to the police station where tests showed he had 69 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Mrs Roberts-Ploughman said: “He told police ‘I’ve been out all night getting smashed’.

“He said he’d gone to the shops for some cigarettes, his last drink was at 5am that morning, and he didn’t feel particularly drunk. He swore and called himself an idiot.”

Meade represented himself in court and pleaded guilty to drink driving on January 22 and told justices: “I’m really sorry, I shouldn’t have done it, I don’t even know why I did it.”

When asked how a driving ban would affect his employment, he said: “Well there’s no transport at the time I go to work. I’m a fisherman and I’ve been starting at 4.30am recently, so I don’t know.”

Chairman of the bench Geoff Morley said he had taken into account Meade’s previous good record and his guilty plea when deciding sentence.

He banned Meade from driving for 18 months, fined him £380, and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.