'I need it to get to bed': Daventry man heavily fined after stealing golf buggy and drink-driving it home
A Daventry man arrested for stealing a golf buggy from a masquerade ball and driving it drunk via a pit-stop in a drive-thru McDonald's told police officers he needed the vehicle to "get home to bed".
Charlie Ibbetson, 23, was spotted by an off-duty policeman driving a golf buggy with balloons attached and flashing lights at 5am on September 16.
The police were called and Ibbetson was pulled over on the A45 near Weedon.
He identified himself and admitted he had driven the buggy from Whittlebury Hall, via the McDonald's in Towcester, towards his home in Ashby Fields.
Police officers said he appeared drunk and described him as stumbling and slurring his words.
He was found to have 50 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath in a roadside test, the legal limit is 35mg.
The court heard he told police officers "you don't need to interview me, I drove it 20 miles. Yes, I took it but I needed it to get home to bed."
Police did eventually interview Ibbetson, who told them he had acted foolishly and irrationally. He told them he would have taken the golf buggy back as he had no intention of keeping it.
He was arrested and charged with three offences: drink driving, no insurance, and taking a motor vehicle with the owner's consent.
Earlier today (October 2) Ibbetson pleaded guilty to all three charges in Northampton Magistrates' Court.
He was already on probation for other offences.
In his defence, Ibbetson's solicitor told the court his daughter's birthday had been one week before the incident and this had affected his mental state as he is not allowed to see her.
He had been invited to the masquerade ball at Whittlebury Hall by his partner who worked there and said he was drinking to help numb the pain and the loneliness he felt after missing his daughter's birthday.
Ibbetson was made aware that golf buggies were on site and that they did not need a key to start them, nor were they locked.
Ibbetson found the buggies, attached balloons to one of them, and began driving it around the hall's grounds. Then he drove the cart down the long driveway - with a bottle of red wine on board - and when he came to the end of the road, he turned left and continued "in no particular direction", his solicitor said.
The defence told the court it had asked its client why he continued driving the buggy. While he could not provide one, Ibbetson did say that his daughter was the reason he had consumed so much alcohol.
Ibbetson said he accepts responsibility for his actions not only because of the danger to other people but also because it had ruined his future plans as he was due to start a new job which required him to have a driving licence.
The defence solicitor said he doubted Ibbetson would ever try such a thing again and that he had shown a level of immaturity associated with people of his age. He had acted on impulse, fuelled by alcohol.
Ibbetson was ordered to pay a total of Â£648 in fines.