A Lawrence Weston dad ploughed his car into a garden wall then hurled abuse at emergency workers.
Scott Abbott, of De Clifford Road, was initially compliant with police after the crash, handing them his keys — but he took an “instant dislike” to the paramedics who arrived, became aggressive and stopped cooperating.
The former Bristol Port worker, 32, attended Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday, July 6) and admitted failing to provide a breath sample.
Prosecutor Sandra Massiah said a police officer on patrol came across a black Ford Focus at 1.45pm on April 29.
The vehicle had caused “extensive damage” to the front garden wall of a home on Queen’s Road, Bishopsworth, the court heard.
Ms Massiah added: “The defendant approached the officer and handed him his car keys. He appeared to be in shock. He said an issue with his brakes had caused him to collide with the wall.
“Asked if he had been drinking, he initially said no, but then said, ‘I’ve had a couple but nothing to write home about.'”
Abbott gave a breath test reading of 81mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Police are required to get two readings from drink-driving suspects, but Abbott refused to provide the second.
He became confrontational towards paramedics, who had attended due to airbags having been deployed in Abbott’s car.
Ms Massiah said: “He became obstructive and aggressive and took an instant dislike to the paramedics and refused treatment.
“He was taken to custody at Keynsham police station, and was abusive and obstructive throughout, refusing to provide a breath sample until he had spoken to his solicitor.
“When an officer asked if there was a medical reason why he could not provide a sample, he shouted ‘f*** you’. Due to this, no further requests were made.”
Abbott has six previous convictions for nine offences, the court heard, including for drink-driving in 2008 and dangerous driving in 2012.
Mark O’Donnell, mitigating, said: “It’s a great shame he appears in court today because he has made great strides to lead a more positive lifestyle since his last conviction, in 2013.
“He tells me he was consuming alcohol during the afternoon, and thought a great deal had left his system, but then topped up with the couple of pints that he mentioned when he spoke to the officer.
“He’s really not sure quite what happened to him. Initially he was wholly compliant with officers.”
Describing what happened, he added: “He approaches police, identifies himself as the driver, hands over the keys, and is compliant right up until the point paramedics are called because it was feared he suffered some form of head injury.
“He takes an active dislike to the paramedics and his whole attitude to the police and paramedics changes.”
Mr O’Donnell said his client had been “getting on track as far as employment is concerned”.
He told the court: “He was working for Bristol Port and not only earning a salary but also working as a self-employed electrician’s handyman.
“He was made redundant in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but put himself through college at his own expense to gain a professional qualification as an electrical installer.
“Then he lost that employment, and hasn’t been in employment since. He was just on the verge of applying for another job, but has to wait for the outcome of this case, because it’s inevitable you have to disqualify him, and for a fairly lengthy period.”
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Abbott lives with his mother and has an eight-year-old son from a previous relationship, who he sees every weekend.
The court heard also heard he receives £402.61 per month in universal credit.
“The disqualification will have a knock-on effect on the activities he can take his son to at the weekend,” said Mr O’Donnell.
Presiding Justice Deborah Merrick imposed a 12-month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work, as well as a 24-month driving ban, which will be cut by 24 weeks if Abbott completes a driving rehab course.
“Because of your previous, we have thought about not letting you go on the course but we have decided to say yes, you can go on the course,” said Mrs Merrick.
Abbott must also pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £95 victim services surcharge. He said he would pay this off at £20 a month.