Portsmouth driver who ‘staggered’ out of car missed court due to dementia

A DRIVER who missed court due to dementia was handed a ban for failing to give a breath test.

 Portsmouth magistrates heard Paul Gill, 61, was spotted by police in Somers Road, Portsmouth, crossing the central white line in his car on July 16 at 1.30pm.

A file photo of police tape. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A file photo of police tape. Picture: Habibur Rahman

When he was pulled over and staggered out he gave a breath test of 102 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 mililitires of breath. The limit is 35.

But back at Portsmouth Central police station he failed to give a specimen despite being given four chances.

Tim Sparkes, mitigating, said Gill was ‘physically unable’ to do so and ‘disputes claims he intended to avoid’ giving the evidential test at the station.

Mr Sparkes said his client was a binge drinker who drank to excess once a month following the death of his wife in January 2017.

He now suffers from depression and anxiety, and injured his elbow in a crash in March, losing the use of his arm.

Portsmouth magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity days and 20-month ban.

Gill, of Timpson Road, Landport, had an initial diagnosis of dementia and that is why he missed a previous court hearing, Mr Sparkes said.

Gill admitted drink-driving and failing to surrender.