Drink-drive teacher jailed

Christine CunninghamA drunken woman driver collided with a tractor and plough, but refused to stop until she was tackled by passers-by and her car keys seized.Schoolteacher Catherine Haynes was four times over the legal drink-drive limit when she was stopped in Holt town centre, a court heard.Christine Cunningham

A drunken woman driver collided with a tractor and plough, but refused to stop until she was tackled by passers-by and her car keys seized.

Schoolteacher Catherine Haynes was four times over the legal drink-drive limit when she was stopped in Holt town centre, a court heard.

Haynes, who was already banned for a previous drink-driving offence, even drove over the foot of one of the pedestrians who tried to stop her and when she finally was made to turn off her engine she commented: 'I have been done before'.

Haynes of Coast Road, Salthouse, had denied two offences of dangerous driving on October 15, last year, and driving while disqualified, but was convicted on all counts following a trial at Norwich Crown Court.


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Jailing her for 14 months and imposing a five-year driving ban, Recorder Mark Dennis told her: 'You were driving with a reckless disregard for others. You were four times over the legal limit and in no fit state to drive.'

He praised the efforts of Mr Jones for doing everything he could to try to avoid a crash.

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'His actions saved you from a head-on collision and I have no doubt he saved you from serious injury. You should be grateful to him for all time.'

The court heard how Haynes had driven the three miles into Holt from her home and was weaving across the road when she collided with a tractor on a blind bend on the Cley Road.

Farmer Edwin Jones did everything he could to avoid a head-on collision with his tractor and plough, but could not avoid the impact, which caused substantial damage to Haynes' car.

However, when he went to her aid, she simply drove off despite her car not being in a roadworthy state and headed into Holt before she was stopped when a man managed to lean through her window and remove her keys from the ignition.

Recorder Dennis said that all efforts to stop her were met with resistance until one person managed to take the keys from the ignition.

He said she was half-way through a previous driving ban for being three times over the drink drive limit and should not have been driving in the first place.

'It was only down to pure chance that no-one was seriously injured in this occasion.'

He added that the public spirited actions of others in finally stopping her had avoided Haynes injuring someone.

He also ordered that she take an extended driving test before getting back behind the wheel.

Ian James, for Haynes, said she was on the verge of losing everything: 'She is going through the process of having her house repossessed. It is quite clear where she lives is very dear to her. This is a woman, who without being overdramatic, is in the process of losing everything.'

He said that Haynes had been un-cooperative with those who tried to help her and she had tried to bury her head in the sand.

After the case, farmer Mr Jones said that the crash caused more than �250 damage to plough which he had to have repaired at his own expense.

He added: 'If it had been later on that afternoon when all the children come out of the infant school she could have killed someone quite easily.'

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