PENSIONER David Kipling has been banned from the roads for drink-driving in a pub car park – despite calling the police himself after his wallet was stolen.
The 79-year-old was visiting Gosport with his 83-year-old wife to help his cousin move house when the couple stopped at the Coach House, in Fareham Road, on July 26.
He appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court last week charged with driving his Nissan Primera with 59mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
The legal limit is 35mcg.
Kipling, who gave evidence, said they each had one large glass of wine and were befriended by a group, who bought them another wine, which he did not drink.
When they left and went to the Co-op, Kipling realised his wallet – containing cards and ID – was missing.
They returned to the pub, with Kipling pulling up in a disabled bay and, while his wife stayed in the car, he went to challenge the group.
While inside, he drank some of wine bought earlier, which was still on the table.
After a heated exchange, he moved his car into another bay. He said he intended to leave the car there and then call a taxi to take the couple to visit his cousin, who was in hospital.
Once he moved his car, he called the police to report the theft, only for the police to turn up and arrest him for drink-driving instead.
Kipling, of Pondwicks, Amersham, pleaded guilty but claimed ‘shortness of distance’ as mitigation. He also said he didn’t realise it counted as a public road.
The court was shown footage of the pub’s CCTV which showed him driving slowly across the car park.
Kipling told magistrates that his car was vital for getting to hospital appointments as he has cancer and needs to attend two different hospitals. He also said he uses it to get his wife to hospital, as she is also ill.
The retired business consultant, who has been driving for 60 years, estimated he had driven more than half a million miles in his lifetime without ever receiving any endorsements.
However, magistrates ruled that he had intended to drive further that day.
Chairman Stephen Waller said: ‘We can’t allow you special reasons.’
Magistrates banned him for a year, with the option of a three-month reduction by completing an awareness course. He must also pay a £100 fine, £150 court costs and £20 victim surcharge.