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Magistrates 'dismayed' that man from Spalding did not realise he had committed a serious offence

By Spalding Reporter

A Spalding man, who took a friend's car without permission, drove it without insurance and refused to give a breath test when asked by police, did not seem to realise he had committed a serious offence, magistrates have heard.

Sandijs Zitmanis, 41, of Beaufort Drive admitted the offences when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday).

Marie Stace, prosecuting, said police were called to Applegreen Service Station in Spalding at 10.57pm, on February 1, because Zitmanis was behaving aggressively after his payment card for fuel for a Vauxhall Zafira car had been declined.

Boston Magistrates' Court (6892291)
Boston Magistrates' Court (6892291)

She said police detected alcohol on his breath but he refused to give a breath test and so was arrested.

Zitmanis was not the owner of the car, she added, but when they spoke to the owner, he told them that he had been with Zitmanis - and when he got home had left Zitmanis in the car listening to music and waiting for a friend to arrive.

She said he had left the keys in the ignition but when he looked out of the window later, he had seen that the car had gone and the keys were later found by police in Zitmanis' jacket pocket.

Michael Alexander, mitigating, said Zitmanis did not realise the police had power to demand a breath test even though they had not seen him driving.

Court news. (6611228)
Court news. (6611228)

He said the car belonged to Zitmanis' girlfriend's brother and added: “It was not a random car and he was sure they would have given him permission to drive the car if he had asked.”

Ordering him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community and to take part in 10 days of rehabilitation, the magistrates told Zitmanis they were 'dismayed you do not seem to think this was a serious offence'.

He was also banned from driving for 18 months, although if he passes a drunk drivers' rehabilitation course he will have 18 weeks deducted, and was ordered to pay £170 in costs and charges.


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