Grantham court: Double car crash after trip to see substation blaze

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A Portuguese man decided to drive from Wharf Road to see the substation blaze in Grantham, only to crash into two cars because he was over the alcohol limit.

Magistrates heard how 48-year-old Victor Manuel Fernandes Veronica, of Ryde Avenue, Grantham, drove with 55 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, on March 22. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, described how like many in the town, Veronica decided to go over and see the substation that had burst into flames on Spring Gardens, which he could see from his home.

While he was out, Veronica visited a Portgueuse café, where he drank a glass of wine. However, on pulling out of Wharf Road, Veronica’s Renault Laguna collided with a passing car. He then tried to reverse back, only to hit a second car. A row erupted between himself and the other two drivers, but was complicated by Veronica’s limited English, Mr Clare explained. Veronica failed a roadside breath test, and was taken to Grantham police station.

Julian Sheen, defending, described the incident as a minor collision, and said that his client was surprised one glass of wine had taken him over the limit.

Mr Sheen told the court that the defendant is currently unemployed and lives with his child and wife who is in work. He added that the inevitable loss of Veronica’s driving licence as a result of this offence would be ‘a considerable inconvenience to the family’.

He received a 15 month disqualification, was fined £120, and must pay £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.