A drunk man who drove off with his girlfriend sprawled across the bonnet has avoided jail due to the bizarre circumstances of his case.

Gareth Atkinson’s antics were spotted by an off-duty special constable who called his colleagues to the scene in Manchester Road on August 13.

The 24-year-old, who was two-and-a-half times over the legal limit, leaped into his Ford Fiesta following a row at his girlfriend’s home.

His girlfriend then jumped onto the bonnet in a bid to stop him and the officer watched as he drove across road before she slipped and fell from the vehicle.

Atkinson pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, driving while over the prescribed limit and two assaults when he appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court.

The constable was out with a group of friends when they witnessed Atkinson, who appeared drunk, getting into the car with his girlfriend’s sister.

Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield
Kirklees Magistrates Court, Huddersfield

Jill Seddon, prosecuting, said: “He saw them get into the car. The girlfriend has then come out and ended up sprawled across the vehicle.

“The defendant goes across the road, stops and she comes off the vehicle at that point.”

The Huddersfield court was told that the car was moving slowly at no more than 10mph.

When Atkinson stopped he opened his car door and was confronted by the off-duty officer.

He shouted and swore and pushed the officer in the chest, doing the same to another male bystander who then stumbled backwards.

Police arrived within moments and Atkinson, of Stile Common Road in Primrose Hill, was arrested.

Breath tests showed that he had 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 milliitres of breath – two-and-a-half times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.

Jonathan Slawinski, mitigating, said that his client had been drinking at his girlfriend’s home when there was an argument between her and her sister.

He and the sister left in his car and he admitted that this was the wrong decision.

Mr Slawinski said: “The girlfriend has tried to stop that and was on the front bonnet clinging on.

“He drove in a diagonal across the road and she’s come off but was not injured.

“The speed was minimal and the girlfriend was very much the antagonist towards her sister who was in the car with him.”

He added that Atkinson assaulted the two men as he wrongly believed that he was going to be attacked when in fact they were trying to help.

District Judge Michael Fanning told the labourer: “It’s a very unusual dangerous driving case but you fell far below the standard of a competent and careful driver.

“The real danger was caused to your girlfriend because she’s jumped onto the car and you didn’t immediately stop.

“You were well over the limit and can see how horribly wrong this could have gone.

“But because of the unusual nature of this case an immediate prison sentence isn’t appropriate."

Atkinson was banned from driving for 23 months.

He must also carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 court costs and £85 court charge.