Portsmouth man, 67, banned for drink-driving mobility scooter

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A DISABLED pensioner has been banned from the roads after he was caught drink-driving on his electric mobility scooter.

Kenneth Fitzpatrick was seen riding on the pavement in Queen Street, Portsea, by police.

Officers stopped the 67-year-old, whose right leg has been amputated, because he was riding along with a passenger clinging to the front of his scooter.

When they spoke to Fitzpatrick they quickly smelt alcohol on his breath.

He was taken to the police station in Winston Churchill Avenue.

There, a breathalyser test showed he had 63 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – almost double the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

Fitzpatrick, of Hawke Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drink.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard his arrest on April 14 was not the first time Fitzpatrick had been in trouble over his mobility scooter.

In December he was given a conditional discharge after police stopped him for travelling at speed in Commercial Road.

On that occasion he swore and shouted at police and was charged with a public order offence.

Bridget O’Hagan, defending, said she had represented Fitzpatrick the last time he was before the court and had warned him at that point about his behaviour in public.

‘We had a long talk then,’ she said.

‘He has chosen to ignore the advice.’

She added: ‘It’s on the pavement but that’s still a public place and as a result he is going to receive a driving disqualification which means he is unable to have the advantage of having electrical assistance as far as his mobility scooter is concerned.

‘He is clearly a disabled man. It’s going to have huge ramifications for him.’

She asked the court to keep the fine to a minimum because of his ‘very limited disability income’.

The magistrates banned Fitzpatrick from driving for a year and fined him £100 with a £15 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench John Gordon said: ‘We take a dim view of the fact that you were given a conditional discharge and you were given a chance and you just flaunted it.

‘You can’t use your electric scooter for 12 months. We have reduced that because of your medical situation, we could have given you as much as 18 months.’

The money for the fine will be automatically taken out of the benefits Fitzpatrick receives.