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Learner driver drove car with no lights the wrong way down the A47

PUBLISHED: 11:58 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 March 2019

File photo of the A47 Wisbech and Kings Lynn.( Terrington St John) Picture: Steve Williams.

File photo of the A47 Wisbech and Kings Lynn.( Terrington St John) Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

A provisional licence holder driving alone went the wrong way along the A47 with no lights on, a court has heard.

A member of the public called police at 8.20pm on February 8 to say the Kia Carens was being driven in an “erratic manner” in the Terrington St John area.

Prosecuting, Jane Walker said: “The caller said the car was driving across both lanes, speeding up and slowing down without warning. The car had gone through a red light and had gone the wrong way down the A47 with no lights on, at speed.”

The court heard how police got behind the vehicle – being driven by Petras Verbiejus – near Wisbech and saw it almost collide with street furniture on Elm Hall roundabout, before crossing into the correct carriageway and swerving across the lanes.

The car was stopped and Verbiejus was the sole occupant. He gave a positive roadside breath test and was arrested. He later gave an evidential reading of 68 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 35.

Verbiejus, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to drink-driving, having no insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with his licence.

Mitigating, Rob New said Verbiejus had gone to get wood for outdoor furniture that his client was building. He normally drove with his partner, who has a full licence, but she was busy and he didn’t want to disturb her.

Mr New said Verbiejus had been drinking the previous night and had also had a beer that morning, the court heard.

“He said that he hadn’t intended to drive which is why he didn’t really apply his mind to the fact he might be over the limit,” added Mr New. “He’s asked me to express his apologies to the court.”

The court was told Verbiejus, a Lithuanian national, had not understood insurance arrangements in the UK, which differed from his native country.

The 44-year-old, of Harrys Way, Wisbech, was banned from driving for 20 months. He declined the offer of a drink-drivers’ rehabilitation course which, if completed successfully, would have reduced the disqualification by 20 weeks.

For drink-driving and having no insurance he was fined £300 for each. There was no separate penalty for the licence offence but it will go on his driving record. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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