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Former geography teacher caught drink-driving on his moped

PUBLISHED: 11:34 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:22 16 February 2019

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Archant

A former geography teacher has been banned from the roads after jumping a red light on his moped while drunk in Norwich.

James Gunning at been at home with friends in Norwich on January 18 and was about to watch the football, Norwich Magistrates Court heard.

The 46-year-old, who has a “serious bowel condition” which makes him incontinent, decided to take his moped to collect alcohol rather than let his friends discover the condition.

He was seen by a police officer in a marked van jumping the lights at Magpie Road, and he was later found to be twice the drink drive limit.

Prosecutor Josephine Jones told the court: “Alcohol could be smelt and the defendant was unsteady on his feet, with slurred speech.

“There was no front L-plate present and he is a provisional licence holder.”

Gunning blew a lower reading of 74mcg in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35. He admitted driving with excess alcohol on Friday.

Ralph Gillam, mitigating for Gunning, said the “sun was very low” and he couldn’t see the traffic lights.

“The other car was waiting and he assumed his light had gone green,” he said. “He thought it was his turn to go.

“He has driven the scooter for 30 years and wasn’t aware you needed an L-plate on the front.

“He has got a serious bowel condition and when he walks he becomes incontinent. On the day in question he was at home with friends. They were getting ready to see a football match and wanted alcohol.

“He stupidly went to get the alcohol from Tesco. If he walked he would become incontinent and he didn’t want his friends to be aware of that, so he took his scooter.

“He taught for 20 years and has been head of geography but resigned from Sewell Park Academy because they wanted him to do some things in relation to coursework he felt were not ethical.”

Gunning, of Malzy Court in Norwich, was banned from driving for 20 months and made to pay costs of £85, a £120 fine and victim surcharge of £30.

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