Land Rover plunged into field

POLICE following a student along the B6161 Killinghall-Otley road in the early hours watched as his Land Rover Discovery plunged through a hedge into a muddy field, a court was told on Tuesday.

Harrogate magistrates heard the driver had been 28-year-old building student and part-time barman Ryan Blackburn who had been driving home to Leathley, near Otley.

Prosecutor Martin Butterworth said Blackburn had told officers: ‘‘I deserve all I get. My father is going to kill me.’’

When Blackburn pleaded guilty to drink-driving – tests showed he was nearly three times the limit – the reason for his comment became clear. His actions had deprived his father, a fire officer, of a means of getting to and from his job.

In mitigation Andrew Tinning said Blackburn had drunk with a friend after completing a bar shift and had intended to spend the night with him. But there had been an argument ‘‘over something completely trivial’’ and he had left to head for home.

Court chairman Paul Gregory told Blackburn he had consumed a ridiculous amount of alcohol to be driving. ‘‘I doubt you should have been walking on the pavement, let alone driving a car.’’

Blackburn was made subject to a one-year community order with 150 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and serve a 26-month driving ban.