Drink driver took friend’s car to search for her

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The 19-year-old from Barnstaple got behind the wheel with no insurance after losing her friends on a night out.

A 19-year-old who drove her friend’s car after a night out with no insurance only made it 400 metres down the road before being stopped by police.

Leah Satchwell, of Lynhurst Avenue, pleaded guilty to drink driving and driving with no insurance on December 20 in Barnstaple.

Officers noticed the Renault Clio at around 4.24pm when it stalled twice in Oakleigh Park, Sticklepath.

They approached the car and Satchwell, who was in the driver’s seat, explained the car was her friend’s and she had taken it to go and look for her.


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The police officers smelt liquor on her breath and took her to custody where she blew a reading which was more than twice the legal limit.

The court heard Satchwell had been on a night out with two friends but after becoming separated from the group was concerned for her friend’s whereabouts.

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The friend was supposed to be staying with her and Satchwell made the ‘foolish’ decision to take the keys to her friend’s car to go and search for her.

Laurence Overend, defending, said Satchwell has spent around eight hours in a cell and was ‘very tearful and emotional’, having had no previous convictions.

Magistrates disqualified her from driving for 22 months, fined her £100 and ordered her to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and a contribution towards costs of £20.

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