A SKIPTON woman who runs a launderette business in Silsden has been disqualified from driving for 12 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Helen Fretwell, 55, of Greatwood Avenue, turned her Mercedes car over on a sharp bend near Hebden on March 8 this year.

Prosecutor Melanie Ibbotson said Fretwell had consumed five half pints of cider and a cocktail before she crashed her car and damaged a wall.

She had been found in a ditch by officers after alerting them to where she was.

She was unsteady on her feet but appeared to be otherwise unhurt and when tested at the roadside. failed a breath test.

She later blew 46 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Mitigating, John Mewies said his client had been in a new relationship with a man who lived in Hebden.

On the night of the incident they had visited her property in Silsden with a view to residing there.

They went out for some drinks in Silsden and then took a taxi to Skipton.

“Unexpectedly, the man’s demeanour changed and she felt frightened,” said Mr Mewies.

“For that reason she distanced herself and told the man’s friend she wanted to go to Hebden to collect her belongings.

“The man’s friend lent her a key to the house and arranged for a taxi from Skipton to Hebden.”

Mr Mewies said his client collected her belongings and feeling able to drive, set off home. She failed to negotiate a bend and crashed. She stayed at the scene and co-operated with officers.

He said she was no longer in that relationship and was no longer driving. There was no third party involvement other than the damaged wall which she was arranged to be repaired. She also was of previous good character.

Skipton magistrates banned Fretwell from driving for 12 months and offered her the drink-driving awareness course which would reduce the ban by 12 weeks. She was also ordered to pay a fine of £112, a surcharge of £32 and court costs of £85, making a total of £229.