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Sleep walking hedge trimmer


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Sleep walking hedge trimmer

By Court reporter

A trainee electrician has launched an appeal against his conviction for drink driving saying he does not remember crashing into a hedge as he was sleep walking.

Myles Beaumont said tablets he had been taking had affected him to such an extent he had not known what he was doing.

At his appeal hearing on Friday the Judge Williams Barrett and two JSs heard he had crashed his Rover 75 into a hedge in Farley Road, Selsdon, on January 6 last year.

Croydon magistrates have already rejected his claim and convicted Beaumont on a drink-drive charge. His alcohol level was about one-and-a-half times above the legal limit.

He is now seeking to get the conviction quashed.

Beaumont, of Brighton Road, South Croydon, said he had driven from his mother's home in Churchill Road without being aware of it, and that he was effectively sleep-walking when the accident occurred.

PC Jack Rowlands told the court that 30-year-old Beaumont had said to him: "I'm a bit shaken, but I'm fine. It was all a blur. I was driving down the road and the next thing I knew I woke up in the car."

He was arrested when a breath-test proved positive.

In evidence, Beumont said he had experienced what he described as a "nasty break-up" with his girlfriend in November 2003.

He had suffered depression for many years and was taking tablets for this, as well as sleeping pills. There had been side-effects and he had had hallucinations.

"I find myself having conversations with people who are not there. I once took a mattress downstairs and tried to put it into the washing machine."

Beamont said he had a couple of drinks at the Red Deer pub and returned to his mother's house. He went to bed and did not remember anything after that.

He woke up after hitting the hedge, but could not recall being arrested.

The appeal was adjourned to November 14, when a psychiatric consultant will be called.


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