Chesterfield woman refuses police breath sample after being informed upon

A Chesterfield woman refused police a breath sample when they turned up at her house after being told she had been driving under the influence, a court heard.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 4:43 pm
Updated Monday, 5th July 2021, 4:44 pm

Clare Fendell, 48, was described as “unsteady on her feet” with “slurred speech” and “bloodshot eyes” when she admitted drinking but claimed she had not driven.

Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how on June 7 police showed up at her Newbold home - having been tipped off she had just arrived back and had been driving over the limit.

Prosecutor Paul Bettany said during a police interview Fendell claimed she had drunk half a bottle of wine - but this was after driving to the shop for cigarettes.

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Clare Fendell, 48, was described as “unsteady on her feet” with “slurred speech”
Clare Fendell, 48, was described as “unsteady on her feet” with “slurred speech”

Her solicitor David Gittins said despite being arrested for failing to provide a specimen she claimed to have “done nothing wrong”.

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Mr Gittins said Fendell would have provided the sample “had she known she could argue about whether she was driving later”.

He said: “Unfortunately she was very upset and suffering from anxiety. She said ‘I wouldn’t have put my licence at risk had I known’.”

Mr Gittins described how stressed Fendell’s partner of 27 years had “walked out” in August - while she had also suffered the loss of family members in recent times.

The court heard how seven years previously Fendell, of Whinfell Road, had been handed a community order for drink driving.

She was banned from driving for 36 months, fined £423, ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £42 victim surcharge.

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