Julie Platt was arguing with her friend about a £2,000 debt that her pal needed to pay back (Picture: Cavendish Press)
A banker who was found texting behind the wheel with more than twice the legal alcohol limit in her system has been let off with a fine.
Julie Platt, 52, claims she was not driving the car while drunk but was only sitting inside it because the WiFi in her flat was bad and she needed to reply to a friend she was fighting with.
The mum-of-one, who is an advisor for Santander in Didsbury, Manchester, was in the middle of a texting argument with a friend who owed her £2,000 as part of a loan repayment.
She told Tameside magistrates court: ‘I lent her some money a year previously and she was giving it back in small amounts of £50 here and there but wasn’t paying me back in full.’
Police said Platt’s engine was warm after they discovered her sat at the wheel following a tip-off on December 3 2019, at 12:25am.
The court heard she had earlier visited the friend’s house to post a letter about the money before attending a funeral for her dad’s old friend, where she claims she drank one gin and tonic as part of a toast.
She drove home to Cheadle Hulme in Stockport at about 9.30pm and drank a bottle of wine while she reminisced over her loss.
Ms Platt said: ‘The signal is not particularly good in that flat so I went downstairs and I went to the car. I then sat in the vehicle and read the messages.
‘Because the signal was clear, I started receiving text messages about the money that was outstanding.’
She claims she was sitting in the stationary car for five minutes before police showed up at around 12.30am after receiving a tip-off.
Ms Platt insists she was not driving the car and was only sitting in the driver’s seat (Picture: Cavendish Press)
Ms Platt was given 10 point on her licence and fined £173 for being drunk in charge of a car (Picture: Cavendish Press)
Police Constable Andrew Bennett told Tameside Magistrates Court: ‘She explained that she had been having a text conversation with a friend and showed me the messages to substantiate the fact that she was having that conversation.
‘But a text message at 12.30am from “Sue” stated: “I never expected you to turn up at that address.”
‘She was intoxicated. Her eyes were glazed, she was slurring her words and swaying when she got out of the vehicle.’
After a different officer noticed that the engine was warm, Ms Platt told them that she did not have any keys with her but Mr Bennett found the keys in the passenger seat.
The cops found that Ms Platt was more than twice over the legal limit for driving. Tests showed that she had 75 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath while the legal limit is 35 micrograms.
But Ms Platt denied any wrongdoing. She said: ‘I had had a drink and I had not driven the car. I was just sat in my car on private land. I wasn’t doing any harm.’
Justice of the Peace Paul Hughes told Ms Platt that while ‘the main facts are not in dispute’ she has not shown there was no likelihood of her driving.
She was found guilty of being drunk in charge of a car and was given ten points on her licence, fined £173 and ordered to pay £342 in costs.
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