Phone search in dark costs a biker his driving licence

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Losing his mobile phone in the dark cost Carl Rookard his driving licence.

Rookard, 21, of Upper Town, Wetherden, pleaded guilty at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Friday to driving with excess alcohol at Stowupland Village Hall Car Park. A blood test showed he had 124 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood — about 1.5 times the limit.

Lesla Small, prosecuting, said police on the A1120 saw a motorcyle being driven round the carpark by Rookard, who was not wearing a helmet.

When they asked where his helmet was he said he was looking for a phone and admitted having had four pints of beer in the pub next door. He was breath tested and failed.

Malcolm Plummer, mitigating, said: “It’s an unusual case. He was on the public highway because it’s a village hall carpark open to the public.”

He said Rookard had an arrangement with the pub landlord to leave his bike and helmet there if he had had more than a pint, but as he had lost his phone and had no torch, he pushed the bike through the hedge between the pub and carpark and used its light to search with the motor running.

Mr Plummer said: “I think it could qualify as a special reason, but he doesn’t want to do that.”

Rookard was fined £277 with £85 costs and £27 victim surcharge and banned for 12 months to be reduced by three months on completion of a course.