Great Britain

Woman who gave pal shoulder to cry on ended up having blazing row with her

A WOMAN who went to provide a shoulder to cry on for a friend who had suffered a tragedy ended up in a blazing row with her.

Blackburn magistrates heard that during the incident Orla Mary Fitzpatrick moved her car away from her friend's house and when police arrived she was arrested for drink-driving.

Fitzpatrick, 31, of Silbury Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. She was fined £461 with £85 costs and £46 victim surcharge and banned from driving for 23 months. The court heard Fitzpatrick gave a breathalyser reading of 102 against the legal limit of 35.

Scott Parker, prosecuting, said a witness who lived next door to the friend was disturbed shortly after midnight by a commotion outside.

He went out and asked Fitzpatrick to keep the noise down because they had a baby in the house.

"His neighbour came out and there was a further altercation between the two women during which his neighbour fell to the floor," said Mr Parker.

The two females were shouting and during the incident he saw the defendant drive her car a short distance down the road. When she got out the car started to roll down the hill and the witness jumped in and put the handbrake on."

When police arrived they spoke to the defendant who they described as extremely intoxicated.

"On the basis of what had been described she was arrested for drink-driving," said Mr Parker.

Aftab Bakhat, defending, said things had gone horribly wrong for his client after she went to a friend's house to console her.

Arrangements had been made for the defendant's boyfriend to pick her up but when he arrived he was persuaded to have a drink and they booked a taxi.

"While they were all drinking the friend made overt gestures towards my client's boyfriend," said Mr Bakhat.

"She couldn't understand this given why she had gone round in the first place."

Mr Bakhat said the two women started to argue and when the taxi arrived the boyfriend jumped in and said he was leaving them to it.

"When he had gone things took a dark turn because her friend threatened her and we say assaulted her," said Mr Bakhat.

"She accepts she drove a very short distance while fleeing from her friend before phoning for her mother to come and pick her up."

Mr Bakhat said his client worked as a therapist in the mental health field and the loss of her licence would impact her severely.

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