A SOUTH Yorkshire dad caught drink-driving and speeding at more than 100mph with his two young children in the car claimed a ‘psychotic episode’ caused him to assault a policeman in a bid to flee.
Antony Sanderson, of Ladyshaw Crescent, Penistone, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, where he admitted drink-driving and assaulting a police officer with intent to resist arrest.
The court heard police stopped Sanderson’s Volkswagen Passat on the M6 near Penrith on Friday, June 1, after seeing it speeding at up to 105mph. He was asked to provide a breath test – and, upon failing the test, was arrested.
The 40-year-old said he ‘needed some air’ and tried to get out of the police car, but was stopped by an officer.
He tried to get out of the vehicle again, dragging the officer through the car and repeatedly trying to shut the door on him, hitting his head and shoulder with the door.
Both Sanderson and the officer ended up on the ground outside the vehicle, where Sanderson punched the policeman twice to the head.
Tests showed Sanderson had been 70mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – double the legal limit of 35mg.
Adrienne Harris, prosecuting, said Sanderson said he had ‘experienced the day from hell’ due to work, and was desperate to get home because the children were screaming and he could not get a hotel. He admitted drinking two pints earlier, but had not thought he would be over the limit.
He said when arrested he had gone into a ‘psychotic episode, intent on getting away’.
Patrick Shimmin, mitigating, said, on the day in question, the freelance engineer, had been returning from a business trip to Scotland and Ireland, and had taken his family with him.
On the way back from Ireland he had been directed to the wrong ferry terminal and, as a result, was delayed by four hours, in which time he drank the two pints.
He said Sanderson had no idea why he had behaved as he had and was extremely apologetic for his behaviour, particularly to the police officer – who had later gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ in finding accommodation for his wife and children while Sanderson was detained.
For the assault, Sanderson was handed a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay the policeman £200 in compensation. For drink-driving he was banned for 19 months and fined £500.