Ex-air hostess, 57, is caught drink-driving for the FIFTH time after leaving her dog panting for air in back of car on scorching hot day
- Virginia Shaw, 57, was caught drink-driving for the fifth time in August this year
- She had left her dog panting for air in the back of her Audi during a heatwave
- Shaw was arrested after driving into shoppers at Altrincham Retail Park
A former air hostess was caught drink-driving for the fifth time after leaving her dog panting for air in the back of her Audi TT during last summer’s heatwave.
Shaw, who used to work for the former Britannia Airways airline, ignored them, got into her sports car and then careered into them, injuring at least one.
The mother-of-one attempted to drive off again but was stopped when another member of the public opened her door and snatched the keys from the ignition.
After failing a roadside breath test she was taken to the police station where a breathalyser test provided a reading of 77mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – meaning that she was more than twice the legal limit.
It emerged Shaw was on bail, having been caught drink driving two months earlier during another shopping trip at the same retail park.
She had three previous drink driving convictions from 2003, 2010 and 2016, for which she had been given suspended sentences.
At Manchester Magistrates’ Court, Shaw of Altrincham showed no emotion as she admitted two charges of drink driving and careless driving.
Concerned shoppers at Altrincham Retail Park in Greater Manchester spotted the distressed dog and tried to stop Virginia Shaw, 57, from driving away on August 14
Shaw, who used to work for the former Britannia Airways airline, ignored them, got into her sports car and then careered into them. She was arrested and failed a breath test at the scene of the incident, with results showing that she was more than twice the alcohol limit
She was ordered to complete an 18-month community order and was banned from the roads for 40 months after she said had given up drinking after consulting her GP.
The court heard the arrest occurred after Shaw claimed she had been seeking ‘solace’ in alcohol following what she described as ‘traumatic times’ in her life.
She had parked up at the Altrincham Retail Park to go into B&M at 5pm when a father and son noticed the dog in the back of her car.
Richard Blackburn, prosecuting, told the court: ‘No windows were open and the dog did appear to be distressed. The son went into B&M to try and find the owner, who happened to be the defendant.
‘She came out of the store and the two witnesses noticed she has been drinking and they told her not to drive whilst in that state.
‘But she appeared to ignore them and got into the vehicle. They tried to stop her from driving off in the vehicle and both witnesses stood in front of the vehicle.
‘But she then drove forward and there was a minor collision with the two of them.
‘The father has since complained about an injury, there is damage to his lower leg and he has been to his GP for treatment – he was given codeine for a week.’
After being stopped and ‘detained’ by a member of the public, the police arrived and conducted a roadside breath test, which she failed.
She later undertook a breathalyser test, and the lowest reading was 77mg.
She was ordered to complete an 18-month community order and was banned from the roads for 40 months after she said had given up drinking after consulting her GP
The court heard Shaw had previously been pulled over at 6pm on June 22 this year after she seen by shop staff driving erratically out of an Aldi supermarket car park.
Police pulled up alongside her as she attempted to reverse out of a parking space outside a nearby Homebase store. They asked her to stop, but Shaw drove away towards the exit and onto a nearby dual carriageway.
Officers followed and managed to stop the car, noticing Shaw ‘smelt of intoxicants, was slurring her words and was extremely unsteady on her feet’.
Tests showed she had 59mg in breath, although she insisted: ‘I don’t know how I have gone over, all I have had is codeine.’
In mitigation Shaw said she had been suffering from depression and anxiety.
Her lawyer Adrian Palmer said: ‘I accept it is an aggravating feature that the 14 August offences were committed while proceedings were pending for the 22 June offences. She has received suspended sentences in the past but has never breached them.
‘She is trying to move away from the traumatic times she has had in the past which led to her finding solace in alcohol. Since this offence she has worked with her GP and is now dry.
‘The report is realistic despite her previous record and recommends a community order. She receives around £1,000 per month in benefits and can pay a fine, but unfortunately cannot do unpaid work.’
Shaw was also fined £475 and was ordered to pay £345 in costs and surcharges.
Sentencing JP Monica Sim told her: ‘You are fortunate no one was injured and this has been a salutary lesson for you.’
According to her LinkedIn page former beautician Shaw worked for Britannia Airways between 1987 and 2002. She later worked as a receptionist at a hotels and then health clinics before setting up her own cleaning business.