Drunk courier who struggled to hold a car plowed into a garden fence

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A drunk courier who struggled to stand before getting into a car and plowing it through a garden has avoided jail.

Mugove Zichawo was first spotted by a taxi driver lying on the ground next to his van on a road in Fenham, Newcastle, in the early hours of the morning.

A court heard from the taxi driver and then watched as the 55-year-old repeatedly tried to get up before finally succeeding and climbing into the driver’s seat of his vehicle.

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The witness was so concerned about Zichawo’s apparent level of intoxication that he telephoned the police and followed him as he drove off.

Newcastle Magistrates Court heard that Zichawo, of Haig Crescent, Scotswood, then plowed his Citroen Relay Box van onto a pavement, through a fence and into a garden.

When he was finally arrested and given a breathalyzer, he was almost four times over the legal limit.

Now the motoring menace, who was jailed in 2008 for driving offences, has had a chance after pleading guilty to driving with excess alcohol and was given a 10-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 month.

Prosecutor Marc Atkins said the taxi driver spotted Zichawo’s van parked outside a shop on Cedar Road in the early hours of the morning on December 27 last year.

Mr Atkins continued: “The defendant exited the vehicle and fell to the ground on his back.

“The taxi driver then saw him trying to get up but had difficulty doing so. The witness came to the conclusion that the accused was intoxicated.

“The accused got into the driver’s side of the van and left. The taxi driver then contacted the police.”

The court heard the taxi driver followed Zichawo while advising officers of his location before seeing him climb onto the pavement and crash through a fence and into a garden.

Mr Atkins added: “That’s when the police arrived. They saw the vehicle had crashed through the fence.

“They spoke to the defendant and they immediately smelled alcohol. He was mouthing his words and trying to start his vehicle while the police were there.”

Magistrates were told Zichawo was arrested and gave a reading of 132mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath despite the legal limit being just 35.

Sophie Allinson, defending, said Zichawo was remorseful and had since lost his job as a courier.

Miss Allinson added: “The defendant was alone over Christmas as his wife and daughter were away visiting Canada.

“He felt isolated and depressed and he panicked because he thought he would get Covid-19 and would have to self-isolate in the house.

“None of this is an excuse to drink to excess and get behind the wheel.”

Zichawo, was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim fine surcharge of £128. He was also banned from driving for three years.

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