Drink-drive dad drove after police were called to domestic

IN COURT: Paul Owens leaving Hartlepool Magistrates Court
IN COURT: Paul Owens leaving Hartlepool Magistrates Court

A DRUNKEN dad had a row with his partner and then got into his work van and drove it while almost three times the drink drive limit.

Paul Owens and his partner put their two children to bed and decided to enjoy some alcoholic drinks.

But at 1.30am an argument broke out between the pair and Owens left their home in Chester Road, Hartlepool, and got into his work van.

The 32-year-old drove off in the Ford Transit but returned just moments later.

Prosecuting, Rachel Dodsworth told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court: “It was 1.30am when police were requested to attend a domestic incident involving Owens and his partner.

“He had consumed a large amount of alcohol.

“As police were called he sat in his work-provided van and drove away, but returned moments later.”

Officers carried out a breath test which showed he had 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Owens, now of Bruce Crescent, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the offence which happened on January 1.

Mitigating, Barry Gray said: “It was not a binge. He had been living with his partner and two children aged seven and five-years-old at Chester Road.

“It was a strong relationship and he was in work and had been working for the National Grid under contract for seven years.

“On New Year’s Eve he and his partner were staying in and having a few drinks after putting the children to bed on New Year’s Eve.

“There was an argument and on impulse he said he was going to his sister’s.

“He realised as he drove away that it was foolish and he drove back home. He hadn’t gone that far, but unfortunately for him his partner telephoned the police and they were there when he came back.”

He added: “The level of alcohol was high, but he wasn’t falling around drunk. He lost his job and is now living with his mother.”

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench released Owens on conditional bail and adjourned sentencing until April 22.