Scaffolding boss gets driving ban

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A SCAFFOLDING company boss who rewarded his loyal workforce with a pub meal fell foul of the drink-drive laws as he ferried them home and may now have to sack some of them so he can employ drivers, a court was told on Tuesday.

Harrogate magistrates heard how Trevor Stuart Gill had been more than two and a half times the limit when he crashed his Nissan Navaro into a lamp post and fencing in Knaresborough Road at 6pm on November 11.

Prosecutor Martin Butterworth said 29-year-old Gill, of St John’s Grove, Harrogate, had driven off after the accident but his actions had been reported to police by an eye witness.

Mr Butterworth said the Nissan had been pulled over in Skipton Road where Gill gave a positive breath test and told officers he had been working before going to the Kestrel in Wetherby Road where he drank four pints followed by another one in another pub.

He said he had had too much beer and had not been thinking straight when he decided to take friends home.

When Gill pleaded guilty to drink-driving and failing to stop after an accident the Crown withdrew a charge of failing to report the incident.

In mitigation Andrew Tinning said the defence had to accept Gill had something of a chequered history with the courts with offences of some seriousness on his record for which he served custodial sentences.

‘‘But he does appear to have turned his life around and today he stands before you with his own business,’’ he said.

Four years ago Gill had started a scaffolding company and now employed a workforce of six. On the day of his offences he had taken them out for a meal after work finished early because the business had been doing extremely well and he wanted to show how highly he valued them.

He drank during the meal and was wholly honest when the police arrived on the scene telling them he had been stupid and had taken a risk he should not have done. ‘‘He felt alright but the amount he had drunk made it virtually inevitable he would be over the limit,’’ said Mr Tinning.

Gill was one of only two drivers in the company. ‘‘Others may have to be employed and the existing staff laid off because of his foolishness,’’ said Mr Tinning.

Court chairman Paul Gregory told Gill: ‘‘I am sure I don’t need to tell you how dangerous driving at that level is. We don’t believe people can be two and a half times over the limit and still consider themselves fit to drive.

Gill was made subject to a one-year community order with probation supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from driving for two years and told to pay £85 costs.