The latest offender to be arrested in Dorset Police's drink drive campaign

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Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A DRINK driver broke the glasses of an off-duty police officer who was arresting her, a court heard.

Hannah Katherine Bennett, 34, was more than double the limit when she attempted to drive.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Vallera told Weymouth magistrates that Bennett had tried to drive off after clipping another vehicle, but was unable to because she had a flat tyre.

An off-duty police constable, Matthew Shrewbridge, heard the commotion at around 11pm on December 15 in Elles Road, Bovington, and went out to investigate.

Miss Vallera said: “The police constable is at a gathering at a nearby address when he hears the incident.

“He initially sees a Land Rover being driven by Bennett and a van parked at the side of the road had been collided with.

“An argument is going on between the van owner and Bennett, and she was trying to drive away from the scene, but she had a punctured tyre.”

After identifying himself, PC Shrewbridge arrested the defendant when she continued to try to leave the area on foot.

Miss Vallera added: “She struck out at him on a number of occasions, and one of those blows knocked his glasses off.

“She picked these up and twisted them, causing them to break.”

PC Shrewbridge also had scratches to his face.

Bennett, of Arras Road, Bovington, admitted driving while over the limit, resisting a constable in the execution of duty and criminal damage.

The court was told a reading showed she had 93 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.

In mitigation Lee Christmas told magistrates that any injury caused to PC Shrewbridge was through resistance of arrest and not assault.

He added: “His glasses must have fallen off during the struggle.”

Magistrates postponed the hearing for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Chairman of the bench John Young imposed an interim driving disqualification.

Bennett was ordered to return to the court on February 7 for sentencing.

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