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Motorist struck car and forced pedestrian into a hedge after drinking wine

PUBLISHED: 16:42 12 February 2019

Matthew Morley, from Watton, appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court after he hit another car after drinking wine. Picture: Adrian Judd

Matthew Morley, from Watton, appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court after he hit another car after drinking wine. Picture: Adrian Judd

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A motorist struck another car and forced a pedestrian to take cover in a hedge after drinking a bottle and a half of wine following bad news about his father’s illness, a court has heard.

Matthew Morley, 27, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court charged with driving a motor vehicle dangerously on January 5 this year.

The court heard he was driving up and down Preston Lane and School Lane in Hales, stopping the car and shouting.

Stacie Cossey, prosecuting, said he carried on for about 45 minutes during which time he hit another vehicle and also caused a member of the public to take cover in a hedge for safety.

Morley had taken his partner’s mother’s car without consent.

He was found to be over the drink-drive limit when he provided police with a sample of breath at the roadside but then refused to give a sample at the station.

Morley, of Blenheim Way, Watton, appeared before the court on Tuesday (February 12) when he admitted driving a vehicle dangerously.

He also admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis on January 5 this year as well as driving a vehicle otherwise in accordance with a licence and without insurance on the same date.

Natasha Baker, mitigating, said her client entered guilty pleas on the first occasion.

She said his father suffers from leukaemia and he had received bad news regarding his father’s diagnosis.

She said things spiralled and following an argument with his partner he took his partner’s mother’s car without consent and “drove it up and down the road”.

Miss Baker said he “was not in the right frame of mind to deal with anything” and was in “self-destruct” mode.

A report was carried out by the probation service before Morley was sentenced as magistrates were considering a custodial sentence.

John Rutherford, from probation, said Morley said he had taken the car after having drunk a bottle and a half of wine and while he has been clean from class A drugs for two years, he now “turns to alcohol when he’s under stress”.

But he said Morley was seeking help and support.

Morley was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also made subject of an 18-month community order made up of 25 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days and 150 hours unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months and will have to take an extended retest.

Morley was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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