Leeds man nearly sent to prison because his wife couldn't park the car
A man has been banned from driving for four years after being caught behind the wheel of his wife's Mercedes because she couldn't park it.
Police were on duty in the Asda car park at Old Lane near Beeston where they saw Aleksandrs Ivanovs, 35, behind the wheel of the car and believed he was on a mobile phone.
Leeds Magistrates' Court heard the the car moved backwards out of the space and back into it.
When officers approached him about using the phone and asked to see his licence, he tried to flee the car. He was told to stay put but made off and was chased and detained.
They said he smelt of alcohol and Ivanovs, a leaflet distributor, was arrested and taken to the police station.
It was there that he refused to co-operate with police breath tests and it was also discovered that Ivanovs only had a provisional driving licence, he had no Latvian licence and no insurance.
The incident happened on July 3 and Ivanovs, who moved to the UK in 2010 and lives at Eden Mount, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
He was unrepresented during Friday's hearing, which had been adjourned for pre-sentence reports, and communicated with the court via an interpreter.
When warned by district judge, Marie Mallon, that custody was likely and asked if he wanted access to a duty solicitor, he refused.
The Probation Service said: "The vehicle belongs to his wife, with whom he lives. He accepts on that evening he had been drinking but insists it was one can of lager.
"He states his wife had driven to the Asda store, she had trouble parking the vehicle so while she was in the store he did the parking."
However, the court also heard that it was never established if Ivanovs' wife was in the supermarket.
For charges of failing to provide a specimen, using a motor-vehicle on a public road without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, Ivanovs was given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, 100 hours of unpaid work, a four year driving ban and fines of £207 with costs.
Judge Mallon added: "I take intl account the fact that you pleaded guilty straight away and the effect that custody would have on you and your family. While I take the view that a custodial sentence is justified, I am going to suspend it."