A farmer’s wife has been banned from the road after taking a late night drive with vodka after a drunken argument with her husband.
Katie Mather, 33, left her family’s £860,000 home in Thelwall, Warrington, Cheshire, after an argument that saw the emergency number cut off.
Police arrived at midnight to find Mather not home, her husband mad with worry, an empty vodka bottle in the bin, and the family car missing from the driveway.
The officers left the house to look for Mather, but returned to the property four hours later to find that she had returned and was drinking in the yard.
She later revealed that she drove to the couple’s new farm in nearby Runcorn to “clear her head.” but Mather refused to take a breath, but admitted, ‘Obviously I’m drunk’.”
Katie Mather, 33, left her family’s home in Thelwall, Warrington, Cheshire, after an argument that saw the emergency number cut off.
At Warrington Magistrates’ Court she was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined £480 after pleading guilty to failing to provide a breath sample for analysis. She was also ordered to pay £312 in costs and a victim’s allowance.
Angela Blackmore, prosecutor, said officers were dispatched just after 11:30 p.m. Jan. 21 after an aborted 999 call.
When police arrived at Mather’s home, they were greeted by the defendant’s husband, who told them she had “been drinking” and showed them an “empty bottle of vodka in the trash,” the prosecution said, adding that the family car was missing.
“Earlier in the evening there was an incident following a text message argument that had escalated. The man had tried to call the police but had to put the phone down and the emergency number was cut off,” Ms Blackmore told the court.
When police returned to the property at 3:55 a.m., they found the defendant in the yard and asked to speak to her about the altercation.
“She was heavily intoxicated, she stumbled and was described as reaching for the driver’s seat of the vehicle,” Ms Blackmore told magistrates.
She was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. She refused to give a sample. She was further arrested for not providing a sample. She said “Obviously I’m drunk”.
Mather was taken into custody and again deliberately refused to provide a breath sample, the prosecutor said.
Her lawyer Judith Hawkins, who defended Mather, said the 33-year-old – of rather good character – was “absolutely mortified” by her actions.
Katie Mather (second from right, holding her husband’s hand) was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £480 after pleading guilty to failing to provide a breath sample for analysis. In the picture she arrives at Warrington Magistrates’ Court
“She was upset and traumatized from the earlier argument with her husband and had she taken a breath test, she would have claimed post-driving alcohol use,” Miss Hawkins added.
The lawyer said her client was “in the middle of a very stressful” program to convert outbuildings into rental properties and everything “came to a head” on the night in question when tempers “flared up.”
“It was a very unfortunate incident,” the lawyer added. “There was a disagreement over some messages sent which escalated into an altercation.
“There was no harm at the end of it and it will never happen again and the couple quickly reconciled.
“Perhaps tempers flared that night and things were said and done to both the police and each other that were bitterly regretted. Due to this lady’s lack of antecedents, you can be sure that she will not appear in court again.’
Ms Hawkins said her client had never had any problems with police and claimed she was ‘traumatized’ by the ‘terrible altercation’ when police arrived.
“She was very upset. She thought “I’m obviously drunk and I don’t know what’s going on,” she said.
“She remained angry at the police station and didn’t know what was going on. When I asked if she had been given a legal warning, she said she just couldn’t remember.
“Had she known, she would have provided a copy.
“I beg you to be mindful of her state of mind. In retrospect, she can’t believe what she did. It’s a one-off and no harm has been done.’
Mather, who was described as a “devoted” stepmother, has a background in the construction industry and takes care of the farm’s 50-strong herd.
Ms Hawkins insisted there was no evidence of ‘bad driving’ and pleaded with magistrates to be ‘lenient’.
“This lady has learned a beneficial lesson and will never appear in court again,” she told magistrates.
Mather was also offered a place on a drunk driving awareness course that, if she passes, will reduce the ban by a quarter.