Glasgow & West Scotland

Drunk driver overturned Audi sports car in the snow

Thomas Cherry Image copyright Stewart Robertson
Image caption Thomas Cherry crashed his Audi in three inches of snow

A drunk driver crashed and flipped his sports car onto its roof while four-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Thomas Cherry, 41, crashed the Audi A3 Sport FSI while driving in Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 21 January.

He admitted charges of careless driving and drink-driving and was sentenced to 250 hours' community service.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard an open bottle of whisky was found in the vehicle.

Cherry was on the road despite a Met Office Amber Warning which advised drivers not to travel unless their journey was essential.

Lost control

Procurator fiscal depute Saud Ul-Hassan said the incident happened in a residential area with a 30mph speed limit.

The court heard up to three inches of snow had fallen when Cherry lost control of his vehicle and collided with a lamppost on a traffic island in the middle of the road.

The impact caused his car to overturn and members of the public rushed to his aid as he was trapped inside the Audi.

One witness spotted an open bottle of whisky lying in the car and handed it to police when they arrived.

Cherry was detained, taken to the police station and breathalysed after being deemed fit to be detained by medics.

He blew a reading of 98 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath - nearly four-and-a-half times the 22mcg limit.

'Isolated and bullied'

Defence solicitor Kevin Brady said Cherry was in no doubt about the severity of his actions.

The lawyer added: "But for the grace of God, neither he, nor anyone else, was injured as a result of this.

"He was relying, somewhat, on alcohol to deal with the pressures in his life.

"There were issues at his workplace - he felt isolated and bullied."

He asked for leniency for Cherry, saying he was willing and able to comply with a community payback order.

Sheriff Moira MacKenzie could have jailed Cherry for up to a year for the offences but placed him on a 12-month order.

He was told he will be supervised by social workers and has to carry out 250 hours' unpaid work as a direct alternative to a custodial sentence.

The sheriff also banned him from driving for two-and-a-half years.

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