A Bridport woman who drove off in her car over the drink-drive limit to flee an alleged abusive partner said she was ‘scared’ and ‘wasn’t thinking straight’ as magistrates issued her with a two-year driving ban.

Marie Sherwood, 55, left her boyfriend’s home in Weymouth after he allegedly assaulted her on Friday, September 17.

A ‘scared’ Sherwood had consumed alcohol before she drove away in her blue Ford Focus, but her erratic driving attracted the attention of the police.

The defendant told the court she regretted her actions but needed to get away.

Prosecuting, Richard Oakley, told Weymouth Magistrates’ Court how Sherwood ‘swerved’ on the Swannery Bridge and crashed into a lamppost.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Weymouth Magistrates' Court. Picture: Dorset EchoWeymouth Magistrates' Court. Picture: Dorset Echo

He said: “Police were called after receiving reports near Chafeys Roundabout about a drink driver driving towards Swannery Bridge.

“They saw the blue Ford swerving on the road and it collided with a lamppost.”

When she provided two breath samples at Weymouth Police Station, she gave a reading over the legal limit with an alcohol level of 98 microgrammes per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Sherwood, of Court Close, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle above the drink-drive limit.

Appearing unrepresented, an emotional Sherwood accepted her actions were wrong, but explained she was desperate to escape from her abusive ex.

Sherwood added that he would often steal her mobile phone and she would often be stranded in Weymouth with nowhere to turn.

Ms Sherwood said: “It was a long-term relationship that was very abusive which I was trying to get away from.

“I was always being kicked out and stranded in Weymouth and he used to take my mobile phone so I couldn’t contact people for help.

“I drove to get away from him and I know I shouldn’t have and I do regret my actions as I have a clean licence.”

She added: “I wasn’t thinking straight, I was scared and I regret the actions that happened. I know I put so many people in danger and also myself.”

Magistrates disqualified Sherwood from driving for 24 months, but it will be reduced by 24 weeks if she completes a driver awareness course.

Sherwood was made subject to a nine-month community order, must undergo an alcohol treatment plan for six months and undertake up to 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days.

Sherwood was also ordered to pay a £120 fine, £95 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.