Motorist took keys from drunk driver

A former Ripley cornershop owner landed in court after her business was hit by the arrival of a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Magistrates were told Julie Flint’s store failed and she was declared bankrupt – before leaving a trail of damage in a drink-driving incident.

As 52-year-old Flint faced court for the first time in her life, her solicitor Stacey Whyte said: “There is background information on why these circumstances are as they are.

“They are not an excuse in relation to Mrs Flint but she ran her own store, a corner shop, for many years until a Sainsbury’s store opened.

“Her business went into liquidation and she was made bankrupt. The bank came back for their money. She and her husband were basically paying £160 monthly which became £700.

“That became very difficult for them financially. The financial position is very grave,” said Mrs Whyte, who said Flint was “very remorseful” over the driving offences.

Derby magistrates heard that Flint was stopped when another driver snatched the keys from her vehicle after their cars collided on Nottingham Road, Ripley at 7.30pm on November 4.

By that time, she had landed a householder with a £2,500 repair bill after hitting a garden wall on Bridle Lane.The home owner heard a noise and he stepped outside, only to see Flint driving on to Nottingham Road. He managed to get part of her car number.

“The defendant was then seen on the wrong side of the road, so much so that she was almost touching the kerb,” said Sanjay Jerath, prosecuting.

Motorist Gordon Wilson was coming up and road and later told police: “I was amazed. She just came at me.” She was driving at about 20mph and both offside wings were damaged when the vehicles collided.

“Mr Wilson did a U-turn and followed the defendant on Nottingham Road and Victoria Street. He saw the vehicle strike a parked car and the defendant was trying to move on.

“Mr Wilson opened the door, turned off the ignition and removed the keys and spoke to the driver,” added Mr Jerath.

Mr Wilson told police:”I couldn’t get much out of her.”

Flint of Victoria Street, Ripley admitted driving with 123 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

She was given 12 weeks’ custody, suspended for a year, and banned from driving for three years. She must obey a curfew for three months. Flint also pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident and failing to report it.

Magistrate Robert Lee told her: “The length of the ban reflects the seriousness of these offences and the level of alcohol you had in your system.”