A South Shields driver caused an ‘Austin Powers scene’ after he stuck a car in the road


Jennifer Nicholson, 76, of Horsley Vale, South Shields, left officers and witnesses bamboozled by what happened near Cheviot Road.

Prosecutor Greg Flaxen compared his car accident to a scene from an Austin Powers movie, where the hero struggles to maneuver a luggage cart through a tunnel.

But he said an explanation for her mistake at 12.10am on Wednesday August 17 could be that she had drunk three glasses of wine.

The case was heard at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court that she was unable to give a breath sample at the roadside or at a police station following her arrest.

This led to her being charged with failing to provide a sample for analysis, to which she pleaded guilty.

Mr Flaxen said: ‘A sergeant attends a traffic accident in South Shields. He sees the motor vehicle.

“Essentially, there are cars parked on either side. This vehicle is through both and touches both vehicles.

“He helpfully describes it as an Austin Powers scene because all the vehicles are stuck.

“The witnesses, the accused and the police are unable to give an explanation as to how he got there. There is damage to the vehicles.

“It is clear that she was very drunk. She explains that she had drunk three glasses of wine. The officer said he could smell intoxicants.

“The accused was unable to provide a breath sample and was cautioned, arrested and taken to the police station.

“She was again unable to provide a breath test. She appears in court without conviction, but it was a deliberate refusal.

Defending Michael Gibson said Nicholson’s ability to huff for a breath test may have been hampered by his car’s airbag activating and his punch to the chest.

Mr Gibson added: “She’s never been involved in a traffic accident. Her car is written off, she’s gone. She’s not sure if she’ll get back behind the wheel.

District Judge Zoe Passfield banned Nicholson from driving for 12 months and fined him £200, with £85 court costs and an £85 victim fine surcharge.

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