Two drink-drivers in court

PUBLISHED: 13:10 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:50 04 May 2010

DRINK-drivers Miranda Bell and Richard Thompson were arrested within 24 hours of each other - driving the same car. They were both about three times the legal drink-drive limit in a Cherokee Jeep with the distinctive number plate R20 ELY. And Bell did not

DRINK-drivers Miranda Bell and Richard Thompson were arrested within 24 hours of each other - driving the same car.

They were both about three times the legal drink-drive limit in a Cherokee Jeep with the distinctive number plate R20 ELY.

And Bell did not have a licence because she had been banned 11 years earlier for drink-driving and had never passed a medical allowing her to get her licence back.

Thompson, 63, was caught by officers after he was seen on a CCTV camera coming out of Ely's King's Arms pub and getting into the vehicle.

The following day, he drove his friend, Miranda Bell, 35, to Ely's Tesco store where staff called police after refusing to sell her alcohol because she was drunk.

She returned to the Jeep, climbing into the driving seat, but was arrested by officers as she drove along Ely's Back Hill.

On Tuesday, the pair appeared before Ely Magistrates' Court where they both admitted driving with excess alcohol.

Bell also admitted driving without a licence and no insurance.

The court heard that self-employed groundworker Thompson, of The Wyches, Little Thetford, was recorded on CCTV camera coming out of the pub and getting into his car in Ely's St Mary's car park, where he fell asleep.

Police were alerted and as they arrived he woke up and drove out of the car park.

But he returned and began reversing the car. Officers spoke to him and smelled alcohol on his breath.

A breath test showed 95 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - almost three times the driving limit of 35mcg - and he was arrested.

Bell, of Saxon Close, Ely recorded a breath test reading of 112 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Mitigating for Bell, Mr Sandeep Kainth told the court: "She got into the driving seat because she took the view that it wasn't suitable for him to drive. There was no erratic driving but the reading was indeed high."

Thompson told the court: "I would like to apologise. I have never done anything wrong in my 45 years of driving.

"I had a sleep and was going to leave the car park but I changed my mind. I was reversing with the intention of parking."

Thompson was banned from driving for two years, fined £100 and told to pay £55 costs.

Bell's case was adjourned until July 11 for a pre-sentence report and magistrates told her they were considering a community order. She was given an interim driving ban and was granted unconditional bail.

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