Quick-thinking passer by helped police snare drink-driver by taking photo of him at crash scene

Mr Loughlin was convicted of harassment at Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Adrian Judd

Mr Loughlin was convicted of harassment at Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Adrian Judd - Credit: Archant

A quick-thinking member of the public helped police snare a drink-driver by taking a photo of him as he fled the sceme of a crash, a court heard.

Robertas Zirgulis, 22, was over the limit and driving on the wrong side of Thorpe Road in Norwich when he crashed his BMW 320D into a wall.

Colette Harper, prosecuting at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, said a member of the public who had gone to see how he was following the crash said he appeared to be drunk and 'took a picture of the driver on his mobile phone' before he escaped.

Police arrived and were shown a picture of the driver taken by the witness.

Following checks on the police national computer Zirgulis.


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Although he was not initially found to be at home he was later arrested.

Zirgulis at first refused to provide a sample of breath but was later found to have 79mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

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Zirgulis, formerly of Wilson Road, Norwich, but now of Sprowston Road, Norwich, admitted driving a vehicle above the limit on October 15 this year.

Representing himself in court, Zirgulis said he was guilty and added 'I know I've done wrong'.

He said if he was to lose his licence it was likely he would lose his job.

He said he was a painter and plasterer and needed his vehicle to get around to work and also pick up and take his fiancée to work.

Alan Lusher, chairman of the bench of magistrates, who described it as a 'serious' incident, banned Zirgulis from driving for 18 months.

He was also fined £440, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £44 victim surcharge.

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