Telford gardener's 40-month ban for sixth drink-drive arrest

By Rob Smith | Telford | Crime | Published:

A gardener caught drunk driving for the sixth time after being reported by one of his customers has been banned for more than three years.

David McDonald-Hodge, 46, was reported to the police by someone he had just finished a job for on July 22.

He had driven to their house in Telford despite not having a valid licence or insurance, and the customer gave him alcohol as a reward, Telford Magistrates Court heard.

Later that day police acting on the report from the customer caught him driving a Toyota Yaris in Woodside Avenue and stopped him.

He admitted breaking the law and was arrested.

At a police station he blew 69 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, close to twice the legal limit of 35.

Prosecutor Katie Price said that McDonald-Hodge had finished a previous period of disqualification but had not applied for a new licence when he took to the wheel.

He pleaded guilty to the three offences of being over the limit, having no third party insurance and having no valid licence.



Representing him, Kate Roberts said that he had started up the garden management firm which has recently started turning a profit and had helped him tackle his alcohol dependency, which has seen him convicted for driving over the limit five times in the past.

She said that he had arranged for a driver for the job on July 22, but that they had had to cancel.

He felt "duty-bound" to finish the job so took the chance of driving himself, she said.

She said he was remorseful, and had no intention of driving again after the last ban he had been given in 2014.


Magistrates banned McDonald-Hodge for 40 months, and gave him a community order including 60 hours of unpaid work.

McDonald-Hodge, of Wildwood in Woodside, also had his licence endorsed for not having insurance. For not having a licence he received no separate penalty.

He was also fined £120 and told to pay a £90 surcharge and £135 in prosecution costs.

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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