Churchwoman, 60, in court for erratic driving after a drinking session

NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

NEWS from Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

A 60-year-old churchwoman from Nuthall was spotted driving so erratically on the streets of Hucknall that she ended up in a front garden, a court heard.

Kathleen Krzeminski, of Nightingale Close, had been drinking and was feeling depressed. But when the police caught up with her, she refused to take a breath test.

Krzeminski pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to charges of driving without due care and attention on Watnall Road, Hucknall and failing to provide a specimen for analysis at Mansfield police station, both on Thursday, January 21.

She was described in court as a woman whose “outside interests include the church”, where she regularly attended early-evening services.

But during the evening of January 20, she drank a full bottle of red wine before getting up at 5 am to drive to work.

Rod Chapman, prosecuting, said an eyewitness, Julie Ward, saw a Suzuki Swift car swerving on Watnall Road, moving on to Farleys Lane, mounting the kerb and going into a front garden. The car came to a stop on a driveway on Bridge Court.

“Mrs Ward saw that a woman was in the driver’s seat and went up to her,” said Mr Chapman. “She could smell intoxicating liquor on her breath.

“When the police arrived, they found Mrs Krzeminski unsteady on her feet, crying, slurring her words and smelling of alcohol.

“When they asked for a roadside breath-test, she refused, saying: I am not blowing into anything. You can take me to prison if you want. You don’t understand.”

Mr Chapman said that even after Krzeminski was arrested and taken to the police station, she was unwilling to take a breath test.

“When interviewed, she said she had drunk a full bottle of red wine the previous evening, between 10 am and 2 am. She had a bit of sleep, but woke up at 5 am, got ready for work and drove off. After that, she remembered nothing more.”

The court heard that a pre-sentence report, prepared by probation officers, disclosed what had been troubling Krzeminski, but no details were given in court.

Martin Hadley, mitigating, said: “This is an unusual case. But it is clear from the remarks she made to the police that there was something wrong in her life at that time.”

Deputy District Judge Nala Lawrence sentenced Krzeminksi to a community order of 12 months, complete with a three-month curfew, banning her from leaving her home between 10 pm and 6 am. She was also disqualified from driving for a year, offered a place on a drink-drivers’ course and ordered to pay court costs of £85, plus a victim surcharge of £60.