A CHEF at a Lake District hotel is due to appear in court to answer two charges of assault and one of affray following an alleged incident at the luxury accommodation.

Peter Thomas Dowdall, 37, of Monkhouse Road, Workington, did not enter a plea for the alleged offences at Armathwaite Hall in Bassenthwaite, Keswick, when he appeared before magistrates in Workington yesterday (Friday).

The offences are due to be dealt with by the crown court next month, due to their seriousness.

However, he admitted a separate charge of failing to provide a breath sample when suspected of having driven a vehicle.

All the charges relate to incidents on February 9.

Pam Fee, prosecuting, said that night Dowdall left the hotel in his car following an incident of which police had been informed.

When officers stopped him in his car they suspected he had been drinking as they could smell alcohol on him.

Miss Fee said Dowdall had to be restrained by officers when he was arrested at the roadside.

She added: “The only comment recorded when he refused to provide the breath sample was: ‘No, thank you, I’ve had the worse day, there’s no excuse.’”

Ian Nancollis, defending, told magistrates Dowdall had since been sacked from the hotel.

He said: “He believed he was over the limit and he thought there was no point blowing into the machine. This was a misunderstanding of how the process works. Had he known he would have blown into it.”

Dowdall was handed a 12-month community order with a requirement to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for 17 months, however if he successfully completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course he will receive a 17-week discount on his ban.

Dowdall is due to appear at the crown court in Carlisle on April 1 to answer the charge of affray and the two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm to Conor Johnson and Daniel Drinkwater.