A CARLISLE woman prosecuted for drink driving was suffering a mental health crisis at the time of the offence, a court heard. 

Carol Attenborough, 54, denied the offence, telling magistrates that she had consumed the alcohol that put her over the drink drive limit while she was sitting in her car in the city’s Asda car park at St Nicholas Gate on May 22.

She was convicted after a trial.

The court heard that at the time she was caught in her Honda Jazz car she had breath alcohol reading of 138mcg for every 100mls of breath. The legal limit for driving is 35mcg.

The court heard that the defendant, a mother of three who had not been in trouble before, had been coping with personal stresses, including a terminal cancer diagnosis given to one of her relatives and a extreme trauma involving another person she was supporting.

The defendant was suffering a mental health crisis as a result.

Attenborough insisted that she drank alcohol only after parking her car.  After hearing the details, magistrates gave the defendant, of Linton Close, Carlisle, a six-month community order and a 32-month ban.

The sentence includes a requirement to undertake a six-month mental health treatment order as well as 15 rehabilitation activity days and 250 hours of unpaid work. The defendant was offered the drink driver rehabilitation course.

If completed by a deadline her ban will be reduced by 32 weeks.

Attenborough must also pay prosecution costs of £620 as well as a £114 victim surcharge. She will also have to pay for the rehabilitation course. Her unpaid work requirement must be completed in the next 12 months.