Council HR worker “surprised” by high reading for cocaine after Chesterfield car crash

Magistrates heard how a council HR worker from Chesterfield was “surprised” a police drugs test gave a higher reading for cocaine than diazepam following a car crash.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 3:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 3:32 pm

Richard Brameld’s comments came to light during a court hearing as he faced a drug driving charge after banging his car into a kerb.

A prosecutor told Chesterfield Magistrates Court how on September 21 last year at about 2am a police officer found Brameld trying to move his car - which had “come to rest against a kerb”.

After giving a blood sample “not fully coherent” Brameld, 39, was found to be over the legal driving limit for cocaine use.

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He later failed a drug impairment test - with police reporting he had “poor balance” and was “generally vague”.

Brameld’s solicitor Ben Strelley told magistrates however that his client was in detox for “opioid” addiction and put his poor balance down to “lack of sleep”.

Mr Strelley said: “He has struggled with various addictions and was surprised from the reading that diazepam was not higher.”

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“Not fully coherent” Brameld, 39, was found to be over the legal driving limit for cocaine use

The solicitor added that Brameld - who was “very close to the line” when he gave the reading - had not slept for the previous four to five nights and “does not believe cocaine caused impairment”.

Mr Strelley added that his client - who was “only just” over the legal limit - had taken cocaine the previous day and “it would seem he was going through other difficulties at the time”.

He said: “Mr Brameld has already surrendered his driving licence to the DVLA and is engaging with agencies who can assist with the problems he has.”

Prosecutor Becky Allsop told how Brameld - who swayed and “nearly fell over” during a balance test - was of previous good character.

Sentencing Brameld, a magistrate told him: “you’re a man of previous good character but taking drugs and driving affects more than just you.

“It's serious because you’re putting others at risk.”

Brameld, of Longedge Lane, Wingerworth, admitted driving with a controlled drug over the specified limit and driving while unfit through drugs.

He was banned from driving for 15 months, fined £300 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

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