“I think I hit one of the pumps”
Those were the words uttered by boozy Scalby mum Angela Richings, after she crashed her Audi A1 into a petrol station pump in Scalby Road.
And a magistrate claims it was “pure luck” the 50-year-old never caused serious injury on her drink-fuelled drive, after she was found to be nearly five times over the legal limit.
Richings, of South Avenue, hit the bottle after learning the “devastating” news that her husband, who she’d separated from, was taking his new partner on holiday to the family villa.
The court also heard how the revelation was particularly heartbreaking for Richings, as the plush villa had been bought specifically for her family to enjoy during happier times.
And she found herself behind the wheel on the afternoon of January 28, as she embarked on the short journey from her home to the petrol station, a ride that came to an abrupt end when station staff phoned police.
She was brought before the bench at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Thursday February 20, flanked by a band of five supporters, including her elderly parents.
She cut a sombre figure throughout the sentencing hearing, having already pleaded guilty to drink driving the day after the crash.
After her arrest she spent the night in the cells, an experience described as “distressing and upsetting” for her.
And in mitigation, her solicitor David Camidge said she’d felt “sick and embarrassed” about her actions.
He added that Richings, who had 165 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath, had been seeking help to treat her long-running “relationship” to drink.
And Mr Camidge added: “She’s very motivated to address the difficulties that she’s encountered.”
However, despite hearing of her personal turmoil, magistrates took a dim view of her actions - especially since it was her second similar offence, adding that she had a “disregard” for public safety.
And she was warned: “It was pure luck that you didn’t injure yourself or someone else on your trip to the petrol station,”
But she was spared an immediate jail term, and was handed a 18-week suspended sentence.
She was given a three year driving ban, ordered to undergo supervision and complete 100 hours of community work, and pay £165 in costs.
And following her sentencing, police praised station staff for their quick thinking, which they claimed could have prevented a ‘catastrophe’.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman added: “The potential consequences of driving nearly five times the legal limit don’t bear thinking about.”