Driving offender failed to give urine after suffering “stage fright”

Scales of justice will swing towards protecting those with things to hide if new legislation is enacted
Scales of justice will swing towards protecting those with things to hide if new legislation is enacted

A suspected drug-fuelled driving offender claimed he could not give police a urine sample for a test because he had suffered from a bout of “stage fright”.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court recently heard how Aaron Peter Sanderson, 38, of George Street, Brimington, Chesterfield, had been stopped and caught by police because he had been driving at night without lights on.

Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman explained Sanderson was found to have taken a vehicle without the owner’s consent, had been driving without a licence or insurance and a test kit also produced a positive result for cannabis and cocaine use.

Mr Chapman said: “When officers observed a Citroen C3 not displaying its lights they engaged in a pursuit and made attempts to stop the vehicle which did not stop immediately and it was being driven erratically.

“When the vehicle was stopped Sanderson identified himself as the driver and he seemed to be suffering from having taken drink or drugs so he was taken to the police station and he tested positive for cannabis and cocaine with the use of a roadside screening kit.”

The court heard on Thursday, January 12, how the Citroen C3 was registered in Sanderson’s girlfriend’s name and he had taken the vehicle without her consent.

Mr Chapman added that police also tried to obtain a formalised, evidential sample from Sanderson’s blood but after he said it would be difficult to find a vein a urine sample was requested.

However, Sanderson failed to provide a urine sample and was subsequently charged with a fourth driving offence of failing to give a specimen.

He pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without the consent of the owner, driving without a licence and without insurance and failing to provide a specimen after the incident in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

Defence solicitor Pari Seeley said: “There were problems with them taking his blood. He doesn’t have prominent veins and he has had similar problems in the past.

“The urine sample was expected but he had a bout of stage fright and was being watched and it was not an out-and-out refusal but he was just unable to give a sample.”

She added: “He is remorseful but cannot explain why he took the vehicle. He hopes the court will accept this is a one-off and he doesn’t intend to repeat this kind of behaviour in the future.”

District Judge Andrew Davison fined Sanderson £360 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

Sanderson was also banned from driving for 16 months but if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course the ban can be reduced by four months.