AN EDEN Valley farmer was seen drunkenly leaving the scene of an accident in which his car crashed into a wall, causing damage costing £3,000.

Christopher Stainton, 25, from Renwick, who was recently prosecuted for a dangerous driving offence, got into trouble after the crash at Beacon Edge on October 18 last year was reported to the police.

Witnesses said they heard one of the two men in the car getting out and telling his friend: “Get out, get out.” They then saw the two men walking away.

“Officers arrived at the scene and located two males who matched the description of the men in the car,” said prosecutor George Shelley. “They were trying to leave the area and both were described as ‘extremely intoxicated.’

“They denied doing anything or having anything to do with the collision.” But when police searched Stainton, they found in his jacket pocket a car key which fitted the VW Golf.

The defendant, who maintained his innocence, accepted that he failed to stay at the scene of an accident, near to the junction with Salkeld Road. He also admitted a number of further offences, relating to events on May 8.

A police officer saw the defendant driving a Ford Ranger car the wrong way along Mill Street in Penrith. When police found the car, they noticed that two of the vehicles’ tyres had insufficient tread.

The defendant pleaded guilty to two charges arising from that.

A roadside breath test confirmed that he had 77mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath and as consequence, the defendant admitted being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle and  having no valid insurance.

The court heard that in June, Stainton had been given a suspended ten month jail sentence for dangerous driving and 240 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified for 30 months.

Mark Shepherd, defending, said Stainton had been engaging well with the Probation Service and he accepted that the standard of his driving over a protracted period of time had been unacceptable.

Passing sentence, magistrates said they accepted that there was a good prospect that Stainton could be rehabilitated. For the failing to stop at the scene of an accident, the magistrates imposed a 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity days.

He must pay £85 costs.

They also fined him £189 and imposed a further 12-month ban, which will run alongside his existing disqualification. For the October 18 offences, there was a further fine and £200 costs.

Along with other associated costs, the defendant now owes £709 to the court.