Drink-drive accident scuppers gap year trip to America

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic14.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic14.

DRINKS before heading off to meet his girlfriend had cost a gap-year teenager his chance of studying in America, magistrates at Harrogate were told on Tuesday.

Richard Wilson Manton, 19, of Rossett Green Lane, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was fined £100 with £85 costs, a £15 victim surcharge and an 18-month driving ban.

Prosecutor Steven Ovenden said police had gone to the scene of a single vehicle accident in Askwith Moor Road between Harrogate and Ilkley at 7.50pm on February 8. Manton, the only person injured, had been receiving treatment in the back of an ambulance

Police had followed him to hospital where he had been somewhat agitated and had discharged himself. Arrest had followed and tests at the police station showed he was five micrograms short of twice the limit.

Manton, who told the court he was sorry and embarrassed, was said to be taking a gap year before resuming studies. It had been his intention to apply to study in America but his conviction would not allow that so he would have to consider alternatives.

He had been making deliveries in Harrogate and had drunk lager with his lunch before continuing drinking with a friend and then setting off for Ilkley to pick up his girlfriend and losing control of his Ford Fiesta on the way.

Presiding magistrate Paul Gregory told Manton his actions had been foolish and their consequences were going to last much longer than the penalty imposed by the court as he had already scuppered his chances in America.