Settle builder jailed for third drink-driving offence

Craven Herald: The defendant appeared at Skipton Magistrates' Court The defendant appeared at Skipton Magistrates' Court

A self-employed builder from Settle has been jailed for 13 weeks after admitting his third drink-driving offence in ten years.

Stephen Paul Brown, 46, was more than three times over the limit when he was stopped by police in the afternoon of December 29, Skipton magistrates heard on Friday.

Brown, who had been out the previous night and had drunk 15 pints of beer and another two that lunchtime, had been reported to police by a member of the public.

Officers headed for the A65 at Ingleton and saw a Ford Transit parked at the Three Peaks petrol station and stopped Brown shortly afterwards.

A roadside breath test was positive and he was taken to Skipton police station where he was found to have 119 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Brown, of Ingfield Crescent, had two previous convictions for drink-driving – in March 2006 and May 2009.

The court heard in mitigation that Brown was a successful builder with contracts in the pipeline and he employed other people. He was also a carer for his mother and divided his time between living with her in Settle and with his partner of 20 years.

He had been out for the evening in Bentham and had taken a taxi home. Next day he had gone to Bentham to collect his car and stopped off for another two pints.

“He is a hard-working, industrious family man who keeps himself to himself,” said John Mewies, who added he had testimonials from people to show he was well respected in the community.

He said Brown was concerned by the prospect of prison but was more worried about the impact on his mother, his partner and the six people he employed.

But magistrates, who called for a stand-down pre-sentence report, said they believed only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate. They said they would have sentenced Brown to 20 weeks but had reduced it to 13 because of his early guilty plea.

He was also banned from driving for five years and told he would have to re-apply for his licence in addition to taking an extended driving test.

An appeal against his sentence has been lodged.

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