Driver sentenced after crashing into West Sussex police station while over the alcohol limit

A horse riding instructor who crashed into the front of a police station in West Sussex while above the drink driving limit has been sentenced.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 3:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 3:31 pm

Abigail Clue, of Bourne Way, Midhurst, appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, where she pleaded guilty to one charge driving a motor vehicle when her alcohol level was above the limit.

The court heard that officers were called to Bepton Road in Midhurst at around 10.50pm on October 5, 2019, where they found a Ford Fiesta had collided with the front of the police station, impacting the railings.

Clue, 26, was established as the driver of the car and taken to hospital to be treated for a head injury, prosecutor Gaynor Byng said.

The collision at Midhurst Police Station. Photo by Phil Bowell

A test revealed the level of alcohol in her blood was 97 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, which exceeded the statutory limit by ten per cent, the court heard.

Miss Byng noted that Clue had entered a guilty plea and was of previous good character.

Laura Plant, defending, said the incident was ‘very, very unfortunate’.

That night, Clue had gone into Midhurst town to her local pub, where she had consumed ‘not a great deal’ of alcohol, Ms Plant said.

She had planned on leaving her car there and walking home.

However, after her ex came into the pub and the pair had ‘a row’, Clue left and ‘without thinking’ drove away from the pub, according to Ms Plant.

Clue was ‘very upset...very emotional’ with her ‘mind in a mess’, said Ms Plant, and she collided with the police station after swerving to avoid another car.

Despite her head injury, she went and asked the local police officer who lived around the corner for help, which Ms Plant said was ‘to her credit’.

Ms Plant said Clue’s car was ‘rather publicly’ visible and said: “It was incredibly embarrassing for her.”

She added: “She will never ever get behind the wheel when she has even had the remotest amount of alcohol in the future. She is utterly remorseful and ashamed.”

Clue was disqualified from driving for 12 months, which will be reduced by three months if she attends a driving course.

She was also ordered to pay a fine of £123, a surcharge of £32 and court costs of £85.