Great Britain

Grandfather fined for drink-driving after children found by motorway

A man has been convicted of drink-driving and child neglect after he was found face down in a bush leaving his grandchildren unattended on the hard shoulder of a motorway.

The children, aged three and five, were found by an off-duty police community support officer (PCSO) who stopped to help after spotting a lone child near a car by the side of the A1 motorway near Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.

After pulling over to help the child, Aaron Sparrow-Woods of Durham Police found the man, 65, face down on a grass verge and a second youngster in the back of the car. He stayed with the children until their father came to collect them as their grandfather was too drunk to walk.

The children were unharmed.

The grandfather was arrested for drink-driving and child neglect after he was found to be nearly three times over the legal limit.

He pleaded guilty at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, Durham Police said, and was banned from driving for two years and fined £1,000.

Inspector Mike Sammut praised Mr Sparrow-Woods actions, saying: "His actions were exemplary at the scene and his dedication afterwards show the very best of our officers who always go above and beyond to help protect the public.”

He added: "Sometimes you just have to follow your gut instinct and thankfully no-one was injured - it could have been a far worse outcome.

"My on-duty colleagues and paramedics were quickly on the scene and I'm glad the children could be safeguarded."

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