'Stressed' Leeds headteacher nearly four times over drink-drive limit as she crashed her Mini on way to school

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A drink-driving headteacher from Leeds who smashed into two cars on her way to school blew almost four times over the legal limit at the scene.

Lorraine Bradley, who was at the helm of Rodillian Academy in Lofthouse, Wakefield, said the pressure of the job turned her to booze, Leeds Magistrates' Court heard today.

The 57-year-old has since lost her job and was "not even allowed to clear out her desk" after news of her arrest spread.

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Bradley was behind the wheel of her grey Mini just after 7.30am on October 20 last year when she collided with a parked car on Oulton Lane in Rothwell. She then careered into the path of an oncoming Ford Fiesta.

Bradley suffered minor injuries and was cared for at the scene by paramedics while the police closed the road.

Prosecuting the case, Megan King said Bradley was breathalysed after they noticed she smelled of intoxicants. She blew a reading of 133 mcgs of alcohol in 100 mls of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Headteacher Lorraine Bradley smashed into two cars and blew four times over the drink-drive limit at the roadside. (pics by National World)Headteacher Lorraine Bradley smashed into two cars and blew four times over the drink-drive limit at the roadside. (pics by National World)
Headteacher Lorraine Bradley smashed into two cars and blew four times over the drink-drive limit at the roadside. (pics by National World) | National World

She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary and then to the police station, where she gave an evidential reading of 107 mcgs, to which she was formally charged.

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Initial reports suggested the Fiesta driver suffered head and chest injuries but no evidence was offered to the court.

Bradley, of Midlands Street, Oulton, admitted a charge of drink driving at a previous hearing in November and returned to court today for sentencing.

A probation report said she took responsibility for her actions, had "shame and regret" but said it had been a "stressful period for her" as principal of the school. She admitted she had been drinking "more than usual" the night before but had no idea she was not fit to drive. The report also stated that she does not have an addiction or dependency to alcohol.

Bradley, who is not married and has no children, took over as principle of Rodillian Academy in 2014 and helped maintain it as a "good" school in terms of its Ofsted standing.

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Mitigating on her her behalf, John Wilkinson said: "It's quite clear that success comes at a cost in many professions. The stress and anxiety of the profession is obvious and she does not hide from that. She has lost her employment, her career and she was not even allowed to clear her desk."

District Judge Tim Capstick told Bradley: "It's a serious charge and it has had devastating personal implications for you. You certainly do not need any lecture from me but you know what the consequences could have been.

"Not only are you someone with no previous convictions but someone of positive good character. You have effectively lost your career. You have lost a great deal."

He fined her £1,000 and ordered her to pay costs. She was handed a two-year driving ban, but offered the chance to enrol in a drink-drive awareness course which could reduce her ban.

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