Fareham drunk driver who tried to flee crash scene gets ban

Sgt Rob Heard

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A DRUNK motorist was caught after he tried to flee the scene of an accident thanks to a quick-thinking member of the public.

Paul Cleeve, of Shannon Close, Fareham, was banned from driving for 23 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving, failing to stop after a road accident where someone was injured, and failing to stop when two other vehicles were damaged.

Fareham Magistrates’ Court heard how the 51-year-old blew more than three times the legal limit after being caught by police.

He blew 119 microgrammes in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Prosecutor Andrew Newman said: ‘At around 8.30pm on September 16 on Highlands Road in Fareham, two vehicles were at red lights at the junction with The Avenue, the A27.

‘They were a blue Vauxhall Corsa with a 60-year-old female driver, and a Nissan Qashqai.

Mr Cleeve was seen travelling from the Titchfield gyratory towards the junction in his Kia Picanto at about 50mph.

‘He turned into Highlands Road, first hitting the Corsa and glancing off it, bouncing into the Qashqai.

‘The offending vehicle was then seen to travel off at speed without its lights on.’

A member of the public who saw this happen took off after Cleeve in his own car, following him to Shannon Close, where he pulled up.

When Cleeve stopped, the member of the public jumped out of his own car and grabbed Cleeve’s keys from the ignition to stop him from driving off and called the police.

Mark Clutterbrook, the Nissan’s driver, was left with back injuries from the crash.

Gaylene Coles, defending, said: ‘Mr Cleeve has never been in trouble before and he’s never been in court before, but he is under no illusion as to the seriousness of his actions that evening.’

Ms Coles told the court that Cleeve had been at his mother’s home helping her with some painting earlier that day.

She said: ‘After finishing there he had gone into the local for a pint and that pint turned into several more.

‘He says in his interview he remembers very little of the incident but he’s deeply ashamed of his behaviour.’

Cleeve was also told he must complete 120 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.

No compensation was awarded because it is being dealt with by insurance companies.