Judge tells court to ‘watch for flying pigs’ over Washington drink-driver’s excuses

A judge warned a court to watch for flying pigs after a Sunderland drink-driver’s implausible excuses.

Deputy District Judge Gary Garland told Liam Walker, 33, who refused to admit his guilt: “See the pig that’s flying over there?”

And he further warned Walker, of Princess Anne Court, Glebe, Washington: “I think you should stop while you’re still ahead.

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“You were in the car and had drink on you and had been drinking.”

Walker was caught over the limit at the wheel of his Renault Kadjar on the A183 Coast Road at Sunderland on Sunday, June 7 last year.

He blew over twice the limit but claimed he sank his lager after parking and did not intend to drive, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Walker pleaded not guilty to a drink-drive charge but was found guilty at a trial he failed to attend on August 6.

After being arrested for his non-appearance and hauled into the dock, he continued to protest his innocence.

Defending himself, he told Judge Garland: “I wasn’t driving the vehicle. I was parked up. I was in the car.”

He admitted he had consumed three bottles of Budweiser, but added: “I know that I wasn’t driving the car.

“I wasn’t going to drive the car. I drove it but not after I’d consumed alcohol.”

But prosecutor Tracey Wood also told the hearing: “The defendant was followed by four people in another car.

“Their car was behind him, and they reported that he was driving erratically. He pulled over in a car park and they observed him.

“Ten minutes later, police attended. Police seize a bottle of alcohol from the car.”

Walker gave a breath test reading of 72mcgs of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

The court heard the gas and electricity business account manager also had a drink-drive conviction from 2007.

Banning him from driving for 14 months, Judge Garland said: “I’m sorry to say this but on the little I’ve heard, you didn’t stand any chance of being found not guilty.

“You must have been over the limit when you drove. What’s to say that you wouldn’t have driven off?

“You’re lucky that your other conviction is out of the ten-year period.”

Walker was also fined £250, with court costs of £250 and a £34 victim surcharge.

Judge Garland offered him a place on a drink-driver rehabilitation course, successful completion of which reduces a ban by a quarter.

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Chronicle Live – Sunderland