Suspended sentencefor mother whosedriving “lesson” backfired badly

Date: Friday 14th September 2018

A MOTHER who decided to “teach her son a lesson” for bad driving by demonstrating her motoring skills has been given a suspended prison sentence for drink-driving and dangerous driving after crashing the car.

Amanda Jayne Lotte (56), Mountain View, North Dykes, Great Salkeld, decided to show her son how to drive in a fit of anger after he was reported for lesser driving offences.

Despite having drunk five glasses of wine, Lotte, who is a camera safety technician with Cumbria Constabulary, got behind the wheel of her son Edgar’s Vauxhall Astra and took him for a drive at around 10pm on 3rd March.

Snow and ice were still on the roads as a result of the Beast from the East storm and an amber weather warning was in place.

Appearing at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Lotte admitted drink-driving and driving dangerously.

Mr Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said she got into the car wearing just a T-shirt and underwear with her son as a passenger. She stalled the vehicle as she attempted to manoeuvre out of the driveway and then mounted a grass verge before speeding off, causing it to slide on ice.

Lotte’s son did not have his seat belt on at the time and he later told police he had been scared and trying to get his belt on during the journey. As they set off she had told him: “If you want to race and drive recklessly, I’ll show you how to race and drive recklessly”.

She was driving at up to 50mph and the car skidded as she avoided a sign and spun before later crashing into a stone wall.

Lotte’s son blacked out and when he woke his mother was slumped over the wheel. Nearby farmers went to help and pulled the vehicle free of the wall, but Lotte drove off and went back home.

Her son contacted the police and Lotte was arrested. She was found to have 172mcg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, the legal limit being 80mcg.

The car was extensively damaged and damage to the stone wall was said to have cost £1,800 to repair.

In interview with police, Lotte admitted she had been drinking and it affected her ability to control her anger and also her decision-making.

She agreed with police she had wanted to “teach her son a lesson” and had intended to show him the vehicle could quickly reach speeds of 85mph.

Mr Steve Oldham, defending, handed in several character references on Lotte’s behalf which were said to contain extensive personal mitigation but which were not read out in open court.

He added that she was dealing with personal issues and was receiving counselling following the crash.

District Judge Gerald Chalk called it an “appalling and shocking piece of driving” in conditions where people had been advised to travel only when necessary.

He said it had been an attempt to “show off to or frighten” her son and clearly passed the custody threshold. However, due to her exceptional voluntary work with children and the local community he was able to suspend the sentence.

Lotte was sentenced to 60 days in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work. She was disqualified from driving for 20 months and will pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.