Drink driver banned after Ilfracombe Lidl crash

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A drink driver had to flee from an angry group of shoppers after his car mounted a pavement outside a busy supermarket in Ilfracombe.

Nathan Turpin lost control of his Range Rover in Wilder Road, Ilfracombe and it crashed near the Lidl shop which was full of early evening shoppers.

Members of the public realised he was drunk and tried to detain him at the scene until police arrived but he threatened them with a metal tool on his key ring.

They stood back after mistaking it for a knife and Turpin was able to run off. He was arrested by police nearby and found to be two times over the limit.

Turpin, aged 40, formerly of Ilfracombe but now of Shakespeare, Avenue, Warwick, admitted affray and drink driving at Exeter Crown Court.

He was banned from driving for three years and ordered to do 80 hours unpaid community work and ten days of rehabilitation activities by Judge Timothy Rose.

He told him if the object which he produced after the crash had been a knife, he would be going straight to jail.

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He said: “You were driving in a serious and potentially dangerous way in an area near a supermarket and close to families with children who were there.

“It is hardly surprising that a couple of them got very upset and said you could have run them over and had endangered members of the public.

“They acted appropriately in saying you were going to stay there. You got rather aggressive and produced something from your pocket and waved it around.

“It seems it was a tool on your key ring but it was enough to instil fear and to the other people to step away so you could run off.”

Mr Thomas Faulkner, prosecuting, said the accident happened outside Lidl at 7.50pm on November 18, 2019, when the area was busy with shoppers.

Turpin was detained nearby and was twice the legal drink drive limit. He was arrested again the next day in a separate incident for drug driving.

Miss Holly Gilbery, defending, said the offence happened at a time when Turpin’s life was in turmoil and at a low ebb because of the breakdown of a relationship.

He had been working as an HGV driver for 13 years but lost his job because he lost his licence. He has now returned to live with his family in the Midlands and is planning a fresh start.

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