East Lancs drink-driver toppled lorry after almost a bottle of vodka

East Lancs drink-driver toppled lorry after almost a bottle of vodka

East Lancs drink-driver toppled lorry after almost a bottle of vodka

Darren Moorhouse

First published in News

A LORRY driver from Padiham who tipped a 40-tonne HGV in Dundee after drinking threequarters of a bottle of vodka has been jailed.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how Darren Moorhouse, 40, of Burnley Road, necked the bottle while loading peat in Peterhead before setting off on the journey back down to England on April 23.

When he approached the Myrekirk Roundabout on the Kingsway, he lost control of the lorry and the trailer toppled over and landed in the fast lane of the dual carriageway.

Police who attended the accident and breathalysed Moorhouse found that he had 111mg of alcohol on his breath – which is more than three times the legal limit of 35.

At an earlier hearing at Dundee Sheriff Court, Moorhouse admitted driving the HGV after consuming alcohol.

He also admitted driving dangerously by attempting to negotiate a roundabout at excessive speed and losing control of the vehicle.

He further admitted causing the trailer to topple over, detach from the tractor unit and fall on to the offside lane of the dual carriageway, where it collided with the safety barrier.

The court was told that Moorhouse had been working for Express Freight Solutions but lost his job following the accident, which took place shortly after 5pm.

Defence solicitor Mike Ferrie told the court that Moorhouse, who had clocked up around 20 years of experience of driving lorries, had since found alternative work as a scaffolder.

Mr Ferrie described the father-of-four as a ‘man who is useful to society’'.

He added: “He is a good man to have about, he is fully aware that he will not be doing anything remotely associated with driving in the near future.

“There is a significant background of marital strife.

“His wife bankrupted herself and there were various other bills which were left to Mr Moorhouse to deal with.

“He feels that a custodial sentence will have a significant impact on his children.”

Sheriff McFarlane, sentencing, said that Moorhouse had compromised the safety of other road users and described his actions as ‘incomprehensible’.

The sheriff went on to tell Moorhouse: “The consequences could have been catastrophic.

“The only proper sentence is a custodial sentence.”

Moorhouse, a first offender, was sentenced to 12 months in prison and also disqualified from driving for three years.

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