Pottery worker ‘harassed by son’ caught drunk driving in co-op

A potter was caught driving drunk after police received an anonymous tip. Officers found Mark Fielding getting into his car outside the Longton Co-op.

Magistrates at the North Staffordshire Justice Center heard it was ‘clear he had been drinking’ and a breath test proved he was over the limit. Fielding, 61, told the court he was pressured into drinking too much because he was being stalked by his son.

Prosecutor Emma Thompson said: “At approximately 6.45pm, police received an anonymous call from a member of the public stating that there was a potential drunk driver at the Belgrave Road Co-op. Police are arrived to see this accused get into a motor vehicle.

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“It was clear he had been drinking. He provided a positive breath test. CCTV showed him driving in the parking lot.”

The court heard Fielding, of Blackheath Close, Longton, give an alcohol reading of 78 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath – the legal limit is 35. He committed the offense on March 3. He has no previous convictions.

Fielding was unrepresented by counsel in court, but told magistrates: “I was harassed by my son. He showed up at work in the car park asking me for money. I was at my wit’s end, I don’t know what to do.

“I’ve been driving for 43 years and I’ve never done this stuff before. I had a drink at home, but I thought I was under the limit. I went to the store to drink more.”

Magistrates fined Fielding £350 and banned him from driving for 20 months, a sum that will be reduced if he completes a driving rehab course. He must also pay £169 in legal fees and charges.

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