Three more motorists banned after admitting drink-driving

Drink driver Diana McDonald-Steele at Norwich Magistrates Court. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Drink driver Diana McDonald-Steele at Norwich Magistrates Court. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A woman who admitted drink-driving told a court: 'Thank God nobody was hurt.'

Drink driver Benjamin Hayden.

Drink driver Benjamin Hayden. - Credit: Archant

Diana Macdonald-Steele, of School Lane, Sprowston, was followed by a concerned motorist as she drove erratically at about 4.30am on December 5, a court was told.

Police were called and stopped her after she was seen driving in Blue Boar Lane, Sprowston. The 59-year-old admitted she had been drinking.

Macdonald-Steele, who has no previous convictions and represented herself yesterday, told Norwich Magistrates' Court she had been feeling the effects of multiple family bereavements.

'I did a really dumb thing,' she admitted. 'There are no excuses; what I did was really stupid.'

She said she had slept at a friend's house and, after waking, had wanted to get breakfast.

'It was a temporary imbalance of my mind,' she said. 'I put my hands up, and thank God nobody was hurt.'

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Macdonald-Steele had 70mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – double the legal limit of 35mcg. She pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was banned from driving for 20 months with a £300 fine, victim surcharge of £30, costs of £85 and a criminal courts charge of £150.

Two days later, police found Benjamin Hayden trying to manoeuvre a car belonging to his disabled mother in Norwich's Riverside car park.

'A PCSO tried to detain him and he struggled with the officer and pushed them to the floor,' said prosecutor Wayne Ablett. 'After a security officer assisted, he was detained and arrested, blowing a positive breath test.'

Hayden, of Ryeburn Close, Lowestoft, admitted drink-driving after giving a reading of 51mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Annette Hall, representing Hayden at Norwich Magistrates' Court, said he had been 'extremely distressed' after arguing with his ex-girlfriend.

'When he left his home address he wasn't under the influence of alcohol,' she said. 'He has an ex-girlfriend who lives next door, and she had been having a go at him. He wanted to get away from the situation. He met a friend and had a couple of beers.'

Hayden, who has previous driving convictions for aggravated vehicle taking, excess alcohol and driving while disqualified, was given an interim disqualification from driving while the probation service makes a report about him. He will return to court on January 13 when he will be banned from the roads for a minimum of three years.

Reuben Griffith-Thompson, 19, of Whitwell Street, Norwich, was also banned from driving for 12 months after yesterday admitting drink-driving on December 5 at Fakenham. He gave a reading of 56mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The EDP and its sister paper, the Norwich Evening News, have vowed to name and shame motorists who put lives at risk by getting behind the wheel after having had too much to drink. As part of the campaign we will expose those who are convicted of drink-driving during the festive crackdown and publish their name and details.