Drug-drive gardener failed to stop for A49 roadside check

A GARDENER was caught drug-driving after failing to stop when flagged by police on the A49 in Herefordshire.

Michael Standen, appearing by video link from his home in May Terrace, Clitheroe, admitted drug-driving before magistrates in Hereford.

Police had been carrying out stop-checks on vehicles travelling the A49 near Dinmore Hill on October 9 when they spotted Standen’s white Transit van heading towards them, prosecutor Mark Hambling said.

But when they tried to flag Standen down, he failed to stop, causing officers to follow him and pull him over further down the road, where he failed a roadside drug test.

An evidential sample taken in custody revealed Standen had 5.8 microgrammes of cannabis metabolite delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of blood. The legal limit is two.

Philip Cornell, for Standen, said the 52-year-old had been in the area as he was helping a friend move.

“As far as the police were concerned, it was a misunderstanding,” said Mr Cornell.

“He thought they were waving him by, but they were in fact waving him to pull in to the layby.”

The court heard the self-employed gardener would be unable to continue in his job without a driving licence as he relies on his van to transport his tools.

Standen was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined £120. He must also pay costs of £135 and a £34 victim surcharge.

Hereford Times