Drink driver 'too drunk to find the dock' at court appearance

Thomas Murphy had sentencing deferred after a judge smelled alcohol from 20 feet away.

Dundee Sheriff Court.

A drink driver could face a contempt of court charge after turning up to a hearing so drunk he was unable to find the dock.

Thomas Murphy was due to be sentenced after admitting driving without a licence or insurance while almost three times the drink drive limit.

But when he appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court he staggered into a glass panel at the side of the dock before eventually finding his way in front of the sheriff.

Sheriff Richard Davidson told Murphy that he could smell alcohol from him, despite sitting more than 20ft away.

Murphy, 55, of Abernethy Road, Dundee, was taken to the cells with his case recalled later in the day.

Kevin Hampton, defending, apologised to the court on behalf of his client.

Sheriff Davidson said: "Not many people in this court can't find the dock. I hear from Mr Hampton that you have an alcohol abuse problem but rarely have I seen anyone in as bad a state as you were this morning. That is not acceptable in a public court."

Sentence was deferred on the driving cases and to consider whether a contempt of court has been committed until April 12, with Murphy released on bail meantime.

Murphy's drink driving offence took place on February 14 on Abernethy Road and in nearby Dalhousie Road.He was caught driving his Chrysler PT Cruise Convertible with 101 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost three times the legal limit.

He was previously jailed in 2003 for drink driving, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

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