Store staff stopped drunk driver leaving

STAFF and customers at a Tesco store stopped a drink driver from getting back behind the wheel.

The shoppers and staff at the Freshwater Square branch in Willingdon held on to Jezzabell Morton until police arrived after her vehicle was involved in an accident and she was seen staggering from side to side as she walked into the store on January 26.

But when she was arrested she struggled, kicked out, tried to headbut officers and even spat in the face of one policeman as she was driven to the Custody Centre.

Eventually the police car had to pull over and Morton was pinned to the ground until reinforcements and a police van arrived.

Morton, 24, of Gorringe Close, appeared before Eastbourne magistrates on Monday morning and admitted drink driving and assaulting PC David Brown. A charge of stealing two bottles of wine was dismissed.

Prosecuting, Claire Prodger said, “At around lunchtime a shopper in the car park at Freshwater Square saw a vehicle drive in with the door open.

“The driver stumbled out and swayed from side to side, clearly unstable on her feet. She was seen leaving the store and members of staff and shoppers intervened and called the police.

“It was clear she was drunk and had been been driving. She was arrested but was resisting and kicked out with her legs. She tried to headbutt officers and spat in the face of one officer.”

Miss Prodger said the reading was 115mcg of alcohol - more than three times the legal drink drive limit.

Dan Harrison, defending, said Morton had an alcohol dependency problem and had been drinking steadily for several days leading up the incident.

“The day before she had drunk four bottles of wine,” said Mr Harrison. “She is very remorseful and it is completely out of character for her.”

Mr Harrison said Morton felt provoked by the officer who she said called her a nutter but did not remember spitting at him.

The case against Morton was adjourned until today (Friday) for sentencing.