#teacher | Retired deputy headmistress, 73, is banned from roads for drink driving

Retired deputy headmistress, 73, is banned from roads for drink driving after police stop her travelling at 40mph on the M56

  • Grandmother Ann Thornton was found to be more than twice the alcohol limit 
  • Bridge secretary had consumed white wine at Cafe Rouge during shopping trip
  • Disqualified for 18 months, fined £337 and ordered to £283 in costs and charges

Grandmother Ann Thornton, 73, was found to be more than twice the alcohol limit after she was seen ‘veering between lanes’ near Manchester Airport at 9pm on February 8

A retired deputy headmistress has been banned from the roads for drink driving after police stopped her for travelling at 40mph on the M56. 

Grandmother Ann Thornton, 73, was found to be more than twice the alcohol limit after she was seen ‘veering between lanes’ near Manchester Airport at 9pm on February 8.

The bridge club association secretary had been drinking white wine at a Cafe Rouge during a shopping trip at the Cheshire Oaks complex near Ellesmere Port but said she thought she was ‘fine to drive.’

Police tried to pull Thornton over by driving in front of her white VW Polo and switching on a ‘follow me’ sign to coax her onto a slip road.

But as the traffic officer left the carriageway, she slowed down to just 20mph and continued driving along the motorway. The traffic officer had to rejoin the carriageway to pull her over. 

Tests showed she had 71 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

At Stockport magistrates’ court, Thornton, of Cheadle, Greater Manchester, admitted drink driving and was disqualified for 18 months.

She said she is now getting the bus to tournaments with the Manchester County Bridge Association.

In mitigation, defence lawyer John Dove said: ‘She is someone who was up until today of extremely good character.

‘She worked as a teacher with a special needs school teaching children aged 11 to 19 years of age and progressed well in her career and got all the way to assistant head teacher.

‘This offence is something completely out of character for her – and she doesn’t know why she had done it.’

At Stockport magistrates¿ court, Thornton, of Cheadle, Greater Manchester, admitted drink driving and was disqualified for 18 months. Seen here is a file photo of the court

At Stockport magistrates’ court, Thornton, of Cheadle, Greater Manchester, admitted drink driving and was disqualified for 18 months. Seen here is a file photo of the court 

JPs told her: ‘As a result of your reading we are obliged to disqualify you from driving for 18 months.

‘You can’t drive any vehicle from this moment until the end of your disqualification. If you do you will commit a serious offence and could be sent to prison and disqualified again.

‘You will have to reapply for your license again.’

Thornton was also fined £337 and was ordered to £283 in costs and surcharges. 

She was also offered a place on a drink driving awareness course which could reduce the disqualification by 25%.


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