Drink-drive headteacher caught three times over limit is banned

PUBLISHED: 15:06 07 December 2012

Sheila Mercer, headteacher of Woodlands Primary School, Bradwell

Sheila Mercer, headteacher of Woodlands Primary School, Bradwell

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A headteacher caught drink-driving in Belton has been banned from the road for two years.

Sheila Mercer, who joined Woodlands Primary School last year, was three times over the limit when breathalysed.

She declined to comment on her behaviour, but this week the Bradwell school’s chairman of governors said it was “completely out of character”.

Mercer was caught drink driving on Saturday, November 17 and pleaded guilty to the offence at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court.

Derek Cockell, chairman of governors, said: “This incident is completely out of character for Sheila, who is committed to leading the school and is providing effective leadership.

“Clearly, this was a very serious matter that has been dealt with by the court, as is entirely appropriate.”

Mercer was in court on Monday.

Officers arrested the 53-year-old at Stepshort in Belton, where she lives, and a breath test found 95mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The permitted limit is 35mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Magistrates banned her from driving for two years, fined her £740 and ordered her to pay £159 costs.

Her ban will be reduced by six months if she opts to take a drink-driving awareness course by April 22, 2013.

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “Anyone drinking and driving is not only risking the lives of themselves and others, but they also risk being disqualified from driving as seen today, with the impact that will have on jobs, relationships and finances. “It simply is not worth it.

“If you drink any alcohol make sure you are not driving and arrange an alternative, safe way of getting to your destination.”

Mercer took her first headteacher job in Dorset before moving to Norfolk, partly due to family ties.

Woodlands Primary has been in special measures since October 2011.

And the week before she was caught drink driving, Ofsted inspectors paid the school a third monitoring visit.

In a report, lead inspector Julie Winyard wrote the headteacher “leads the school well, and is determined that every pupil will do as well as they can.”

She also recorded “satisfactory” progress.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest from the EDP

Show Job Lists

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -0°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast