Rotherham wheelchair user’s drink drive shame

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A disabled man who crashed his car into a wall while twice the drink drive limit – then rolled away from the scene in his wheelchair – was caught after police spotted his tracks at the scene.

Neil Pearce, aged 32, rang police to claim his VW Golf had been stolen by youths, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

But he was caught after forensic experts found his DNA on the driver’s airbag, and his wheelchair’s tyre tracks at the scene.

His lies had been backed up by pals Sam Marshall and Andrew Watts – and all three were prosecuted for perverting the course of justice.

Carl Fitch, prosecuting, said the trio had been drinking in The Brush and Easel pub in Flanderwell, Rotherham, on the night of the collision in June last year.

At 2.19am police received reports a black VW had crashed into a garden wall in Northfield Lane, Wickersley.

Between 2.21am and 2.53am police received three calls from Pearce, of The Wellway, Rotherham, who said his car had been stolen.

“The car had collided with railings before colliding with a wall in the garden of a nearby house,” said Mr Fitch.

“A cushion and a driving aid were attached to the driver’s seat.

“Police found nothing to indicate the car had been stolen, and saw tracks from a wheelchair leading from the driver’s side of the vehicle.”

Mr Fitch said Pearce was registered disabled and a wheelchair user.

All three men were arrested and Pearce failed a breath test.

Pearce, Marshall, 19, and three other men – Lee Pilkington, 37, his brother Reece Pilkington, 27, and Andrew Watts’ brother Aidan Watts 18 – were also sentenced for a brawl at Sainsbury’s in Flanderwell Lane during which knives were brandished by Marshall and Aidan Watts.

Pearce, who admitted affray, drink driving and perverting the course of justice was given a 15-month jail term suspended for 18 months and banned from driving for a year. Marshall, of Fleming Way, Wickersley, who admitted perverting the course of justice, affray and possessing a blade in public was sent to a young offenders institution for eight months.

Andrew Watts, of Hollings Lane, Wickersley, admitted perverting the course of justice and was given six months’ jail suspended for 12 months, 12 months’ supervision and 100 hours unpaid work.

Reece and Lee Pilkington, of Elder Drive, Wickersley, admitted affray and were each given nine months suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours’ unpaid work.

Aidan Watts, of Hollings Lane, Wickersley, admitted affray and possessing a blade. He wept as he was sent to a young offenders’ institution for eight months.