A DRINK driver, who collided with a parked car and a garden wall before fleeing the scene, appeared before magistrates in Newton Aycliffe today (Tuesday, February 26).

CCTV footage showed Kevin Porter, of Auckland Terrace, Shildon, staggering to his Ford Mondeo in the early hours of September 30 last year.

Porter, who had been drinking at a friend’s house the previous night, then drove the vehicle to Brantwood Terrace in Tindale Crescent, near Bishop Auckland, where he crashed into a Ford Focus and a garden wall.

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Jonathan Bambro, prosecuting, said: “At around quarter to six in the morning the occupant of the address in Brantwood Terrace hears a loud crash. When she goes outside she sees a car has crashed into her Ford Focus.

“Both vehicles are damaged and her garden wall has been destroyed.

“There is no driver at the scene although the airbags have been activated.”

Mr Bambro described how a member of the public had seen Porter a few metres from the crash scene immediately afterwards and offered him help.

Porter turned his offer down, causing the passerby to become suspicious and call the police.

The 49-year-old was arrested shortly afterwards but refused to give a breath specimen to test for alcohol.

Magistrates heard how Porter initially denied the offence and, when presented with forensic evidence from the air bag, refused to comment.

“That is why there has been somewhat of a delay bringing this to court,” Mr Bambro added.

Porter pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, failing to provide a specimen for analysis, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

John Clish, mitigating, said Porter had argued with his wife’s daughter that night and made the unwise decision to drive.

He said Porter had not admitted the offence during his police interview because he could not remember much about the incident.

“He did not want to believe he was responsible for what had happened,” he said. “He is absolutely devastated that he has put himself in this position.”

Porter, who is an insured driver, was disqualified from driving for 30 months and sentenced to eight weeks in custody, which was suspended for 12 months.

He was also given 180 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay court costs of £125 and a £80 victim surcharge.