Drink-drive carer forced off road when passenger "grabbed the wheel"

South Wales Guardian: INTERIM BAN: Natasha Trickett is seeking to avoid a driving ban at a special reason hearing. INTERIM BAN: Natasha Trickett is seeking to avoid a driving ban at a special reason hearing.

A 27-year-old Towy Valley care worker has claimed she was forced to drive while over the limit to escape a friend suffering a psychotic episode.

Natasha Trickett, of 3 Ashfield Road in Llangadog, admitted driving her Ford Focus on November 18 while under the influence when police found her standing alongside her car, which had rolled onto its roof after crashing through a hedge off the A40 near Llandeilo.

Trickett’s friend was standing on top of the overturned vehicle.

Prosecutor Vaughan Pritchard Jones told Llanelli magistrates court how officers had first become alarmed after spotting a set of muddy tyre tracks on the A40 at 12.15am.

“They followed them to the point where they went through a hedge,” he told the court.

“The car was upside down on its roof and a male was standing on the up-side of the car.”

Trickett was standing nearby.

“The male had injuries but was aggressive towards the police,” Mr Pritchard Jones said.

Trickett told the police she had been “driving normally when her passenger grabbed hold of the steering wheel causing the vehicle to leave the road and go through the hedge”.

Trickett was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. Tests showed she had 64 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

In interview Trickett admitted drink-driving.

“I was silly to drive,” she told officers.

Peter Martin, defending, said Trickett had faced an “emergency situation”.

He told the court that while Trickett and another female friend were at the male’s house, “he started to behave extremely oddly”.

“He became aggressive and was overturning tables,” said Mr Martin, adding that Trickett “feared she would be attacked”.

He described how Trickett ran out of the house and got into her car, but before she could escape, the male had followed her and climbed into the passenger seat.

The second female escaped on foot.

Trickett, Mr Martin said, “felt the only course was to drive off and get to a place of safety.

“The male was still ranting and raving and while she was driving he grabbed the wheel.”

Mr Martin said that when police arrived on the scene they were forced to use debilitating Pava spray before paramedics could attend to his injuries.

Trickett admitted the offence but requested a special reasons hearing in a bid to avoid disqualification.

She is set to go before magistrates on December 19.

She was subjected to an interim driving disqualification until the outcome of hearing.

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