A drink-driving pensioner has racked up his third conviction for driving while over the prescribed limit ... but he’s not going to jail.
James Radcliffe, 75, who got behind the wheel after selling eggs from his 50 hens to pub customers has been given a suspended prison term.
His own solicitor described his record, littered with drink-driving and driving while disqualified offences, as “horrendous.”
Radcliffe was also banned from the road for five years after Kirklees magistrates heard details of the latest incident, dating back to October 8 last year.
He was caught driving just four months after magistrates banned him from the road for driving while under the influence in Westgate in Huddersfield town centre.
But he ignored his ban by going home to feed his hens and then driving to the pub to sell their eggs.
Prosecutor Andy Wills said that police were alerted to his white Astra van by CCTV operatives monitoring the town.
They noticed the vehicle heading towards Manchester Road off Shorehead roundabout and believed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
Police caught up with Radcliffe, of Moorbottom Road in Crosland Moor, as he drove along Huddersfield ring road and indicated at him to pull over to the side of the road.
Mr Wills said: “They spoke with the defendant and immediately noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath. He alighted from the vehicle and seemed under the influence while he walked to the police vehicle.
“Radcliffe said he knew he was a banned driver, having been banned back in June 2017.”
The pensioner was arrested after failing a roadside breath test
Further breath tests showed that he had 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit is 35 microgrammes and he told police that he’d drunk three bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale at the pub.
Radcliffe pleaded guilty to offences of driving while over the prescribed limit, driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance.
Magistrates were told that he had 33 previous convictions to his name.
He first appeared in court in 1983 for failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis and then was back facing the same charge in 2000.
Radcliffe appeared charged with driving while over the prescribed limit in 2007 and then for his second drink-driving offence in June last year when he was banned from the road for 18 months.
Fazaila Kauser, mitigating, explained that her client was a single parent and had never married because he committed his life to bringing up his son who is now aged 20.
She told magistrates: “He has 50 hens at home and his son would usually feed them. Due to work commitments he was not able to and he (Radcliffe) drove to feed the hens.
“He collected the eggs and has driven to the pub where he’d sell the eggs to his regular customers. His son would usually take him but because he was not available he drove there.
“It was a foolish decision. There he had a drink, decided to go back and was stopped by police.
“He’s remorseful and its conceded that his driving record is horrendous as there’s a number of driving while disqualified and driving whilst over the prescribed limit convictions.
“He has given the hens away and has no reason to drive further.”
Magistrates jailed Radcliffe for nine weeks but suspended this custody term for a year.
He was banned from driving for five years after which he will have to take a retest before he can drive again.
Radcliffe will have to take part in the drink-drive impairment course as part of his community order.
He must also pay £85 prosecution costs and £115 victim surcharge.