A PUBLIC official smashed his car into the central reservation on the M62 near Goole after a drunken stag night party put him three times over the drink-drive limit.
Wayne Farmer, 43, was found wandering around in the fast lane in foggy and poor conditions as police responded to a call saying there was a vehicle travelling the wrong way on the carriageway near the M18 at 12.50am on November 2 last year.
Farmer crashed into the westbound barrier in his white Ford Focus but there was no proof he was driving the wrong way down the road. Crown barrister Stephen Welch said Farmer was so drunk he couldn’t even remember driving, Hull Crown Court heard (Thursday, March 17, 2016).
Farmer, of New Street, Carcroft, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving and drink-driving. At Goole police station he had 113mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – more than three times the legal limit. The limit is 35mcg.
Mr Welch said Farmer had been on a stag night staying in the Fox and Coney pub at South Cave. He told police he had been dropped back at the Fox and Coney and after that could not remember what he had done to the point he was in the back of a police car.
Mr Welch said his dangerous driving fell below that of a careful and competent motorist. He said Farmer was driving in poor conditions and by virtue of hitting the barrier his driving must be dangerous.
Throughout the proceedings no one referred to Farmers occupation in an effort to avoid it.
Asked by Angela Wrottesley, for Farmer, if he had seen references submitted to the court, Judge Paul Watson QC said: “I have read some of the most potent testimonials which I have come across for a very long time.
“This man, in the course of his work, has his own safety put on the line on a daily basis, and on at least one occasion has been threatened with a knife, something which, clearly, for everyone who knows him, has had a severe impact on him.”
The references described Farmer as a “hard-working, reliable, decent man with strong family values.
“The fact of the matter is, here he was, behind the wheel, with over three times the level of alcohol in his system that the law permits, in fog, and, or, extremely poor visibility, which is dangerous of itself.
“I take the view that a custodial sentence will be unavoidable.
“But bearing in mind everything I have read about him, his good character, his public service, the powerful mitigating features of his own personal issues arising from what must have been a very traumatic episode, the genuine remorse, which I do accept, that it is just about possible to suspend the operation of that sentence.
“He’s very lucky that somebody wasn’t hurt in this.”
Miss Wrottesley urged the judge not to pass a suspended prison sentence as it would mean he would be sacked.
She said Farmer had been commended by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court after giving chase to an offender, helping him to be detained 17 minutes after his escape. She said it would be possible for him to continue working – although he faced a 70-mile round trip.
The judge adjourned sentencing to allow Farmer to provide proof of his employer’s warning, and of the commendation.
Farmer was asked outside court which “force” he worked for, replying: “I could not say.” Asked if he was sorry, he said “Yes.”
He will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on April 14