Hartlepool drink driver punched man who tried to stop him fleeing crash scene

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A drink driver assaulted a man who tried to stop him from fleeing the scene after he crashed into a parked car in the early hours of the morning.

John Palmer punched his victim in the face after driving his Renault Clio into a stationary vehicle in a Hartlepool road at 4am.

Police were alerted to the incident in Jesmond Gardens and arrested him.

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Palmer, 40, who was four times the legal limit for driving, is now beginning a driving ban after admitting a drink-driving charge.

John Palmer, 40, assaulted a resident on Jesmond Gardens in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, October 22, 2023, after he drove into a parked car heavily intoxicated.John Palmer, 40, assaulted a resident on Jesmond Gardens in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, October 22, 2023, after he drove into a parked car heavily intoxicated.
John Palmer, 40, assaulted a resident on Jesmond Gardens in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, October 22, 2023, after he drove into a parked car heavily intoxicated.

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard how Palmer drove his Clio into a parked car outside the victim’s house on the morning of Sunday, October 22, 2023.

Justices at the Middlesbrough court were told that he had been heavily intoxicated at the time and tried to get back into the car following the smash.

His victim heard the crash, came out of his house and approached Palmer in an attempt to try to stop him from leaving the scene.

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Prosecutor Anne Mitchell told the court how Palmer then punched the man in the face.

Mrs Mitchell said: “He was driving a motor vehicle on the 22nd of October when he collided with a stationary vehicle at four that morning.

"The victim came out of his home and saw Palmer trying to get back in his vehicle.

"The man tried to prevent him and that was when Palmer punched him in the face.

"The police then arrived and arrested him.”

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Following his arrest, a breath test revealed a reading of 185 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Palmer, who lives in Hamilton Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing last month to a charge of assault by beating and to driving a car after having drunk more than the legal limit of alcohol.

Returning to the court in June following the preparation of a pre-sentence report, Palmer has been disqualified from driving for 18 months by Judge Marie Mallon and has also received an 18-month community order.

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He must complete a nine-month alcohol treatment plan and 25 rehabilitation activity days as part of the order.

Palmer, who the court heard has 13 previous convictions, was also ordered to pay £114 in legal costs.