Mum ‘binned’ drug driver’s test sam­ple

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMOTORIST’S bid to chal­lenge a drug driv­ing charge was ‘scup­pered by his mum’.

Gareth Neil­son, from Mac­cles­field, was caught driv­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of cannabis, a court heard.

The 26-year-old wanted to fight the drug driv­ing charge by hav­ing his blood tested by an in­de­pen­dent com­pany.

But when his mum re­searched the costs of the pro­ce­dure she took the pre­cious sam­ple from the fridge and ‘binned’ it, the hear­ing was told.

It meant Neil­son, who was due to stand trial, had to ad­mit a charge of drug driv­ing and pos­ses­sion of cannabis.

Neil­son, of Ken­dal Road, has now been banned for a year and hit with £625 in fines and court costs.

Mag­is­trates at Stock­port heard that Neil­son was caught af­ter a ran­dom po­lice check.

Pros­e­cu­tor Neil Smith said: “On Oc­to­ber 27 at 3.45pm of­fi­cers on pa­trol were at Lyme Green when they saw the de­fen­dant’s car with five peo­ple on board.

“Of­fi­cers de­cided to speak to the driver and pulled be­hind them at a ser­vice sta­tion.

“Of­fi­cers be­came aware of a strong smell of cannabis. They asked the de­fen­dant if he had any drugs on him and he pro­duced a tin from his trousers which con­tained two snap bags of cannabis. He told of­fi­cers that he last smoked the pre­vi­ous even­ing. How­ever, of­fi­cers said the smell was strong and his eyes were blood­shot so they gave him a road­side drug test which was pos­i­tive for cannabis and he was ar­rested.

“The level was 4.1mg, which is twice the le­gal limit.” The court heard that when po­lice took blood to con­firm the pres­ence of cannabis, Neil­son asked for his own so he could have it in­de­pen­dently tested.

John Clarke, de­fend­ing, said: “Po­lice weren’t fol­low­ing the de­fen­dant be­cause of any er­ratic driv­ing or speed­ing. It was a ran­dom stop.

“He was taken aback by the record­ing and asked for his own sam­ple of blood which he was to have in­de­pen­dently tested.

“He took it home and it was put in the fridge. Un­for­tu­nately his mum did her own re­search and hav­ing seen the costs of the test she binned the sam­ple. He was left with no op­tion but to change his plea.”

The court heard that Neil­son lost his job work­ing for a build­ing com­pany but now works as an agency ware­house operative.

Gareth Neil­son, 26, ad­mit­ted drug driv­ing

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