Lincolnshire

Drink-drive North East Lincolnshire Council leader Ray Oxby banned from driving

Ray Oxby at Grimsby Magistrates' Court Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Ray Oxby had suffered 'vitriol and hatred' from the local community, the court was told

A council leader who reversed a car into a wall after drinking two bottles of wine and vodka has been banned from driving.

Ray Oxby was found drunk and slumped in his car in February when he was leader of North East Lincolnshire Council. He stepped down from the role in March.

He previously suffered "vitriol and hatred" from people over a road scheme, a court heard.

He admitted drink-driving, was fined £1,000 and banned for 28 months.

Grimsby Magistrates Court heard former Labour councillor Oxby, 63, of Dursley Avenue, New Waltham, North East Lincolnshire, was found to have 224mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

It came after he suffered a breakdown due to a controversial Toll Bar Roundabout decision, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The £2.2m scheme to change the roundabout to traffic lights was approved by the council in October 2018, under Labour, despite a 10,000-signature petition against the plans.

Oxby told police he "had not been popular in the New Waltham area" because of it, the court was told.

In May, control of the council changed to Conservative and a new scheme for the road was agreed - the first phase of which is a toucan crossing with work due to start on 21 October.

CCTV footage captured the moment Oxby drove the car into his garden wall, while trying to reverse out of his drive, the court was told.

He was later found nearby by a neighbour who reported his head to be slumped and a smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle.

When interviewed by police, Oxby told officers he had consumed two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka.

Mitigating, Saleem Khan said Oxby had "suffered very badly at the hands of the local community".

"He was subjected to vitriol and hatred at the hands of the local community."

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