Driver pleads guilty after being found almost five times the limit near Horsham

Police
Police

A man from Plummers Plain who was found almost five times the drink-drive limit after crashing his car last week has pleaded guilty to three driving offences.

Robert Hutchinson, 59, of Fir Tree Close, was arrested last Friday (January 31) after he was spotted by a witness at around 5.45pm driving his Nissan Almera erratically on the A281 heading towards Horsham, police said.

The witness told police Hutchison veered off the road, overcorrected and crashed head on into a Ford Ka which was heading south on the road at Mannings Heath.

Police said the Ford span around and the Nissan ended up in some bushes.

The driver of the Ka, a 42-year-old woman from Plummers Plain, suffered slight injuries and Hutchinson escaped without any injuries, police added.

Hutchinson was still sitting behind the wheel of the car when he was approached by police and after being breathalysed he was found to be almost five times the drink-drive limit.

Hutchinson was arrested, questioned and later charged with a number of offences.

Police said he told officers he had been drinking for several hours at home on Friday afternoon but decided to go shopping for food before he crashed the vehicle.

The 59-year-old has previously served a ban for drink-driving after being convicted in 2009 and did not have a driving licence, police added.

He was remanded in custody and appeared at Chichester Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday 2) where he pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

He has been released on bail to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court and will be sentenced on February 23.

Superintendent Jane Derrick, head of roads policing in Sussex and Surrey, said: “Hutchinson was not hurt and fortunately his victim only suffered whiplash and bruising but both could have been seriously hurt or even killed.

“Whilst alcohol has an impact upon an individual’s decision making, Hutchinson would have been aware that he shouldn’t have driven on that day but nonetheless made the decision to do so.

“Drink-driving will not be tolerated and we have officers out every day looking for and arresting motorists whose selfish behaviour puts people at risk.

“I would like to thank the member of the public who realised Hutchinson was putting people in danger and called us.

“On another day we might have been able to stop and arrest Hutchinson before the accident happened so I would urge anyone who has similar suspicions about motorists to contact us immediately. Your call really could save lives.”

If anyone suspects a person of drink or drug-driving you can text officers on 65999 with the details or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.