Newcastle e-scooter students banned for drink-riding

Newcastle’s new vehicles have been switched off overnight to prevent similar incidents

Colin Drury
North of England Correspondent
@colin__drury
Saturday 27 March 2021 10:49
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From top left to bottom right: Joseph Vesey, Jamie Swain, Rian Dunne, George Richardson, William Attridge, William McMullen
From top left to bottom right: Joseph Vesey, Jamie Swain, Rian Dunne, George Richardson, William Attridge, William McMullen

Five students have been banned from the roads after being caught riding e-scooters while over the drink-drive limit.

The men, aged between 19 and 22, were all stopped by police while misusing the hire vehicles in Newcastle.

Their actions have resulted in the city’s scooters – which were only launched in February – being shut down over night to prevent similar incidents.

The youngsters were caught after Northumbria Police set up patrols following complaints that the bright orange vehicles - which have a top speed of 15mph - were being used dangerously and in an anti-social manner.

One, George Richardson, was found to be almost four times over the limit. Another was caught after his riding was so erratic, police stopped him after he had travelled just 20 metres.

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All of them admitted drink-driving when they appeared at Newcastle Magistrates Court on Friday. A sixth admitted refusing to provide a specimen when asked to do so.

Sentencing the sextet to bans of between six and 30 months, district Judge Paul Currer said: "These orange Neuron scooters that are flying around Newcastle at the moment because they have been made available are, nevertheless, motor vehicles and to drive them when drunk creates a real danger to other road users and, primarily, yourself.”

In entirety:

* Joseph Vesey, 22, of Devonshire Place, Jesmond, admitted drink-driving. He was banned from driving for 12 months and must pay £239 in fines and costs.

* Jamie Swain, 21, from Bayswater Road, Jesmond, admitted drink-driving. He was banned for six months and ordered to pay £319 costs and fines.

* Rian Dunne, 20, of Cavendish Place, Jesmond, admitted failing to provide a specimen and was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £239 in fines and costs.

* George Richardson, 20, of Stepney Lane, Newcastle, admitted drink-driving. He was banned from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay £319 in fines and costs.

* William Attridge, 19, of Stepney Bank, Newcastle, admitted drink-driving. He was banned for 18 months and ordered to pay £239 in fines and costs.

* William McMullen, 19, of Falconer Street, Newcastle, admitted drink-driving. He was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £239 fines and costs.

None of the men had previous convictions and five opted to take a rehabilitation course to reduce the length of their ban.

It is not the first time such e-scooters have been misused.

In July, just weeks after the first ever such UK scheme was launched in Middleborough, two teenagers were caught taking them for a spin down the 70mph A19, while, over the summer, there were dozens of complaints of them being used inside shopping centres.

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