Banned from the roads af­ter driv­ing in car af­ter club­bing


The Chronicle - - News - By IAN JOHN­SON Re­porter ian.john­son@ncjme­

LAUGH­ING out­side court, this drink-driver es­caped un­paid work – af­ter a court heard she would prob­a­bly just get a sick note.

Ar­mani Ni­chol­son has been banned from the roads for the sec­ond time in four years af­ter she got caught be­hind the wheel af­ter club­bing in South Shields.

But the stay-at-home mum, who pock­ets £900-a-month in ben­e­fits, ques­tioned how she would af­ford her fine.

The mum-of-one had been par­ty­ing with pals when po­lice pulled her over near Whit­burn.

She re­fused a breath test back at the sta­tion – blam­ing her “anx­i­ety”.

Now, Ni­chol­son has been banned again – but mag­is­trates opted against un­paid work af­ter a pro­ba­tion worker said: “I’ve no doubt she will be straight off to pick up a sick note.”

South Ty­ne­side Mag­is­trates’ Court heard Ni­chol­son has a his­tory of hand­ing in sick notes to the pro­ba­tion ser­vice.

She claimed she’s wait­ing for NHS treat­ment for back pain and can’t work.

The 28-year-old lives with her five-year-old son in Hun­dens Lane, Dar­ling­ton, where she had been driv­ing home af­ter a Satur­day night out on Septem­ber 29 turned vi­o­lent.

The court heard she fled a club at 2.30am af­ter bounc­ers kicked a group out for caus­ing a fra­cas.

Fear­ing she may get caught up and “pan­ick­ing”, Ni­chol­son got the car keys and headed home with a friend – de­spite hav­ing been drink­ing.

She was charged with fail­ing to sup­ply a spec­i­men and driv­ing with­out in­sur­ance – and has been banned for two years.

“She’s in an aw­ful mess and she could have hurt her­self and her friend,” said the pro­ba­tion worker.

Ni­chol­son, who de­scribed her­self as a “so­cial” drinker, was banned in 2014 for drink-div­ing and has an­other driv­ing con­vic­tion.

In mit­i­ga­tion, her solic­i­tor claimed she had sim­ply been try­ing to es­cape the fra­cas safely and “didn’t think”.

She’s been banned and handed a com­mu­nity or­der, while the bench fined her £120 along with costs.

The cash will come out of her ben­e­fits weekly, de­spite pro­ba­tion claim­ing she said: “How will I pay it with money I’m get­ting?”

Ar­mani Ni­chol­son, left, leaves South Ty­ne­side Mag­is­trates Court

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