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Penrith drink-driver had knife and extendable baton in his car

Carlisle Crown Court

A PENRITH drink-driver found to have a knife and extendable baton in his vehicle has been sentenced by a judge.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how police saw Joshua Speak’s Volkswagen Scirocco drive away quickly from a roundabout at Junction 40, off the M6, and tailed it into Penrith during the early hours of September 6.

After 29-year-old Speak’s vehicle stalled on Ullswater Road, close to the Cranstons store, he was spoken to and failed a breath test.

During a search of the car, a lock knife and extendable baton were found in a door pocket. Speak, of Moorhead Gardens, Warton, near Preston, was found to be exactly twice the legal drink-drive limit and confessed to drinking rum from 5pm the previous evening. He told officers: “I’m an idiot. I had to get out. No excuse. I was pulling off the motorway because I was falling asleep.”

Speak, who was said to have given bizarre accounts for his illegal possession of the two implements, expressed remorse for his wrongdoing. He admitted driving with excess alcohol, and possessing both a bladed article and offensive weapon in public, and was sentenced this afternoon (FRI) by Judge Nicholas Barker.

A man of previous good character who worked in the civil engineering sector, Speak had already begun to seek help to address mental health fragility and excessive drinking.

Judge Barker imposed an 18-month community order comprising rehabilitation and unpaid work. Speak must also complete an 18-month driving ban and pay a £400 fine. “I don’t know why you had them,” the judge said of the knife and baton, “but the fact of the matter is that you did. They are serious offences.”

Judge Barker ordered both items to be forfeited and destroyed.

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