23rd Oct, 2016

Festival-goer banned for drug driving

Evesham Editorial 11th Dec, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A FESTIVAL reveller who drove with MDMA and cocaine in his system has been banned from getting behind the wheel for two years.

Anthony Atkinson crashed his silver Ford Focus on the A46 in Sedgeberrow about 5.15am on July 27 after he had attended the Global Gathering music festival in Long Marston on July 25 and 26.

Police attended the scene to find the vehicle had driven into a hedge and was ‘half on and half off’ the carriageway, Worcester Magistrates Court heard last Friday (December 5).

Officers approached the 31-year-old, but he seemed edgy and his pupils were described as ‘tiny’ so they believed he was on drugs, the court was also told.

A total of two MDMA tablets were found in the car, with another 20 discarded next to it on the grass. He was arrested and taken to A&E where blood samples were taken.

Those tests confirmed traces of the two substances in his blood.

Atkinson, of Gaynes Park in Shrewsbury, told police he found the drugs on the floor at the festival and that they were for his own personal use.

The defendant also added he had taken MDMA on the Friday evening and the cocaine on the Saturday.

Along with his 24 month driving disqualification, Atkinson, who was jailed for possession with intent to supply in 2005, was handed a 12-month community order and told to complete 80 hours of unpaid work.

Defending solicitor Mark Sheward said: “He attended a music festival in Long Marston and while there he fully accepts he took ecstasy and cocaine aswell.

“That clearly had the effect of impairing his driving as while he was driving he had an accident. He doesn’t seek to suggest he wasn’t impaired by those drugs but it was early in the morning and he had had a lack of sleep.

“He was fully open and honest with the police when interviewed and accepts full responsibility for this.”

Atkinson pleaded guilty to possession of a class A drug and to driving while unfit through drugs. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £60 victim surcharge.