Off-duty policewoman blocked in drug-driver using her own car
AN OFF-DUTY policewoman spotted and followed a driver weaving through traffic and used her own car to block him in, a court heard.
The officer grabbed the keys from 45-year-old Michael Da Costa, who was under the influence of drugs, after he reversed into her car.
Plymouth magistrates praised the actions of the policewoman for stopping him in his tracks before he caused more trouble.
Long-term heroin addict Da Costa was still under the influence of drugs he had taken the day before, the court heard.
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Presiding magistrate Yvonne Quinlan said: "Driving in the state you were in, we must commend the person who blocked you in and took your keys, or goodness knows what could have happened."
Da Costa, of Channel Park Avenue, Efford, admitted driving while under the influence of drugs on June 8.
He was banned from driving for 24 months, fined £150, ordered to pay £35 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
Angela Furniss, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the off-duty officer was driving behind Da Costa's Vectra in Embankment Road at about 10.30am.
She added the policewoman noticed he was driving very close to the car in front.
Mrs Furniss said the officer started following him when she saw the Vectra's wheels mount the pavement.
She added the car drove towards oncoming traffic, causing other vehicles to swerve out of the way.
Mrs Furniss said Da Costa crashed into a parked Mini in Lipson Road.
She said the policewoman pulled up close to the Vectra to stop it moving away – but Da Costa reversed into her car.
The court heard she took the keys from the car to stop him driving.
Roger Page, for Da Costa, said he used to take heroin but had been prescribed the substitute drug methadone for two years.
He added the day before he had missed his appointment for his dose and had resorted to taking heroin.
Mr Page said the cocaine had been a "purely recreational" one-off.
The court heard he was under the care of a community psychiatric nurse and the drugs counselling service Harbour.
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