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Drink-driver Daniel Routhorn who crashed on the M20 spared jail

By Sean Axtell

A drink-driver found hiding in the undergrowth of a motorway roundabout after crashing his car has been spared jail.

Daniel Routhorn fled the scene after smashing his silver Ford Escort on the slip road of the M20 on Sunday, August 20.

When a police search failed to locate the 54-year-old, police dog Eli found a hidden track through rough terrain.

Daniel Routhorn
Daniel Routhorn

Unemployed Routhorn, of St Michael’s Road, Basingstoke, was discovered hiding among bushes under the influence of alcohol.

Cannabis and amphetamines were found in his possession.

The incident happened near junction 11 of the motorway, the Hythe turn-off.

Routhorn, who said he was driving to Hythe to see friends, told police he was intoxicated from the night before.

In an interview he said he was still under the influence after drinking two bottles of wine and three beers.

Eli and his handler PC Ed Goldswain
Eli and his handler PC Ed Goldswain

The crash happened at about 7pm.

Prosecuting, Neil Sweeney said: “At 7pm police attended a road traffic collision where a Ford Escort had collided with a kerb.

“In the police interview he said he had drunk two bottles of wine and three beers on Saturday, August 19.”

Probation officer Miss Gerr, said: “In the past he has led a fruitful life, he has worked with whales but now alcohol has led to this.

“He has clearly been able to lead a stable life but it has all gone to pieces in the last eight years.”

Routhorn pleaded guilty to possessing class B drugs, driving without a licence or insurance and drink driving.

District Judge Justin Barron banned Routhorn from driving for a year, ordered him to attend a three-month alcohol treatment course and 10 days’ supervision under probation.

He also ordered the drugs, with a street value of £15, to be destroyed.

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