Drink-driver crashed into wall after heading out to buy cigarettes

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

After returning from a night out by taxi, a Birch Vale man went out to buy cigarettes, crashing his car on the way back, a court heard.

Stephen Ryan Humphreys, 22, had been out in Manchester before returning home by taxi at about 3.30am on April 3.

Jennifer Fitzgerald, prosecuting, said once he returned home Humphreys decided to drive to the Sainsbury’s store in New Mills to go and buy cigarettes.

“On arrival at Sainsbury’s he found it had closed and on the way back he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a wall, causing heavy damage to his own vehicle,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

Another motorist waiting at a junction saw the Citroen C4 travelling at speed and came across the crash scene moments later.

Humphreys, who was distressed, was arrested and became aggressive to officers. Later at the police station, he provided a reading in breath of 56 - the legal limit is 35.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said: “In terms of the night out, he was coming home by taxi and foolishly took the decision to drive to buy some cigarettes.”

She said the accident did not damage the wall, but heavy damage was sustained to Humphreys’ own vehicle.

“It is fair to say Mr Humphreys took it badly and panicked.”

A student studying to become a teacher, the court was told the loss of his licence would cause difficulties.

Humphreys, of New Mills Road, was banned from driving for 16 months but was given the option of reducing the ban by completing a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 government surcharge.