A HIGH-FLYING headteacher was caught drink-driving after crashing into a married couple on a dual carriageway.
Senior teacher Roxanne Vines, 33, was spotted by the diligent couple as she swerved between lanes on the A3 on a Thursday evening around 8.45pm.
Michael Parsons, 61, and his wife Roslyn, 63, held back from overtaking but spotted Vines in her Peugeot 107 using a mobile phone at the wheel.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard the couple then did try to overtake – only for Vines to crash into the left rear wheel of the Parsons’ Nissan Qashqai.
‘The impact was extremely violent, destabilising my car momentarily,’ Mr Parsons said in a court statement.
Vines, head at Mill Hill Primary School in Waterlooville, opened her window, adjusted her wing mirror and ignored the couple – who then flashed her with headlights twice.
Nick Hoyle, prosecuting, said accountant Mrs Parsons, whose father was killed by a drink-driver, was on the phone to 999 as they followed her for 11 miles.
Vines, who was an assistant head in London before taking up the post in 2014, forced another car to take ‘evasive action’ as, Mr Hoyle said, adding she also slowed to 35mph then went to 70mph.
Directing police towards Vines – who had previously won praise from an MP – the couple followed her down the A3(M) and to the roundabout for the M27, where she was stopped and arrested.
‘They pull up eventually at the same lights and tell her she needs to pull over – “she just waved us off”,’ Mr Hoyle said reading from Mr Parsons’ statement.
The court heard Roslyn wound down the window and pointed to a waiting police car, with officers stopping Vine just before the M27 on-slip.
‘She was asked if she had any alcohol, she said “one glass of wine with a meal”,’ Mr Hoyle added.
But a blood test revealed she had 122mg in 100 millilitres of blood, more than the 80mg limit.
Magistrates said the driving was ‘quite serious’ but took into account a letter Vines penned to the bench.
No mitigation was given in open court. Magistrates praised the Parsons over the incident on March 30. In a school newsletter dated March 30, Vines said she was back at school after ‘a few weeks’ of being ‘unwell’.
Vines, of Lakeland Avenue, Bognor Regis, was banned for 12 months and fined £500, with £135 costs and charges. The ban was reduced to nine months as Vines will take part in a driving course.
Mr Parsons was unhappy he received no apology. Outside court he said: ‘To me it calls into question her judgement and moral character as a headteacher, what example is that to the kids?’
His wife added: ‘My father was killed by a drink-driver in Gosport. I thought we were going over the barrier.’
PC Chris Powling, from Havant roads policing unit, praised the Parsons.
He said: ‘They did really well, when she hit them they could’ve been pushed into a ditch on the A3 at Clanfield and who knows what would’ve happened.
‘It was only for their diligence and their wish to see justice and the person who damaged their car stopped by police that we were able to get her and the bottom line is she was clearly impaired.’
Vines admitted drink-driving.
School governors will review the matter
A REVIEW will be carried out into the headteacher’s actions.
Chairwoman of governors Christine Thompson said: ‘Clearly this is a serious matter. I can assure you that as soon as this was brought to my attention I acted swiftly to seek advice from the local authority. I can confirm that I, with other governors will be undertaking a full review of the situation.’
Cllr Peter Edgar, Hampshire County Council education boss, added: ‘We recognise the seriousness of this matter and we will be supporting the governing body in a review of the headteacher’s actions, where all factors will be taken in to account.’
Parents had mixed response to the news
PARENTS picking up their children from school were divided in their views after hearing of Roxanne Vines’s drink-driving conviction.
None had been told of the headteacher’s conviction.
A mother, 43, who asked not to be named, was picking up her children.
She said: ‘It’s just irresponsible – it doesn’t set an example. They had police in the other day about speeding along the road and then the teacher does that, it’s really bad.
‘It makes a mockery of what they’re teaching.’
Another mum, 29, added: ‘It’s terrible. The headteacher should be the one setting an example and she knows you shouldn’t drink-drive.’
One 28-year-old dad, who was picking up his son and also asked not to be named, said: ‘I’m shocked. That’s a bad mistake. But she’s a brilliant headteacher, she’s doing a brilliant job.’
Parent Donna Lane, 35, was picking up her seven-year-old daughter. Ms Lane said: ‘She’s human at the end of the day.
‘She comes across as a good headteacher. I’ve never had a problem with her and everyone makes mistakes in their lives.
‘I’ve had kids going to the school for 12 years.’
Connor Boxall, 24, was picking up his son. He said: ‘Everyone makes mistakes, it’s not really affecting the school.’