Troubled drink-driver was tracked to Peak District beauty spot

The iconic view at Monsal Head
The iconic view at Monsal Head

An off-duty police officer helped save a drink-driver from harming herself after he spotted her driving erratically and alerted colleagues.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on January 12 how Melissa Redhead, 25, of Keswick Drive, Chesterfield, was followed around the Peak District before she stopped at a car park at the Monsal Hotel, Monsal Head, where she was arrested.

Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman said: “A Detective Constable was travelling to work when he became aware of a Seat on the A619 and it was not being driven in the manner of a careful and competent driver.”

The officer contacted on-duty colleagues, according to Mr Chapman, as he spotted it bumping into a pavement, crossing white lines, using an indicator without turning, crawling, driving on a verge, skidding and narrowly missing another vehicle.

Redhead told police she had mental health problems and had been at a party the night before. She revealed it had been her intention to self-harm. The defendant pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit after recording 69microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath when the legal limit is 35microgrammes.

Defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson said: “She was in a very dark place when this happened.”

District Judge Andrew Davison fined Redhead £280 and she must pay a £28 victim surcharge and £85 costs. She was also disqualified from driving for 20 months but if she completes a rehabilitation course the ban could be reduced to 15 months.