Drunk driver who thought he was under attack after Honiton Show rammed cop car after mistaking it for tree
PUBLISHED: 11:30 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:26 22 August 2018
A drunk teenager who was sleeping in his car thought he was under attack and tried to drive off.
He rammed what he thought was a tree three times - but it was a police car and the people trying to rouse him were cops.
Ben Mason had been to a disco after Honiton Show, which was held earlier this month.
Exeter magistrates heard the 18-year-old tractor driver had got involved in a drunken scuffle in a marquee there and went off to the car park to sleep in his Citroen car. The court heard police were called and spent 20 minutes trying to wake him around 1.20am.
When he did he turned on the engine and rammed the police car behind his vehicle three times.
He was arrested and blew 55mg of alcohol in his breath at the police station.
Mason told police in interview that he ‘flipped’ when he was woken up and ‘tried to get away from the situation’.
He said he drunk ‘too many’ ciders at the disco.
He thought he had reversed into a tree when he tried to drive off.
Mason accepted his actions were ‘reckless rather than intentional’ but was ‘regretful and remorseful’.
Deborah Minnett, defending, said Mason had no previous convictions and suffers with ADHD and Aspergers syndrome.
She said Mason was the victim of harassment and assaults by a 45 year old man where he lived and he ‘tried to get himself out of danger’ because he thought he was under attack when he came out of his deep sleep.
Mason admitted drink driving and causing £3,861 damage to the police car.
Exeter magistrates said: “We accept what happened after you were woken may well have been due to circumstances which occurred beforehand.”
He was fined a total of £235 with costs, banned from driving for 15 months and given a six month conditional discharge for the damage to the patrol car.