Boozy Navy veteran handed driving ban

David Corbett appeared before the court over the charge
David Corbett appeared before the court over the charge

When Navy veteran David Corbett drunkenly invited a female petrol station attendant to “come and visit me” at his wife’s pub, his offer was politely spurned.

But the 57-year-old landed himself in hot water after saying “what colour knickers are you wearing?” to the worker - before driving away from the Shell station while over the limit.

This was despite Corbett, who served on missile launch submarines during the Cold War, claiming he had walked to the station and was walking back.

Police were called, and officers tracked him down to his Wykeham home where a breath test found him to be more than four times the legal limit.

Despite having a “very heavy” smell of booze on his breath at the station, he claimed the reading had been skewed by a swig of cider he’d enjoyed when he arrived home.

But at Scarborough Police Station, he was asked to supply a urine sample after a mechanical device broke - but he “failed to comply”.

That landed him before magistrates in Scarborough on Thursday April 24, where Corbett was given a four-year driving ban for failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Corbett shook throughout the hearing, his hands clasped together and his head hung while the prosecution recalled the events of April 3 this year.

And in mitigation, his solicitor Robert Vining portrayed him as a serviceman who had an “exemplary record” at sea, but who had struggled to cope with life back on shore.

“When he left (the navy) it had been his life, literally his life,” he said, adding that he would often spend 14 weeks at a time at sea.

“He has found it very difficult to cope with life on land.”

The court heard that Corbett had previous convictions and disqualifications for drink driving, and that his health was “shattered”, suffering from ailments including tachycardia.

“It’s all very sad,” said Mr Vining, adding that Corbett had visited the Cambridge Centre to try and overcome his battle with the bottle.

Besides the ban, he was fined £350, and told to pay £85 costs and a £35 surcharge.

And the court heard his wife had since taken his car keys off him, with Corbett vowing not to drive again even after his ban has ended.