A MAN who left his car straddling Westward Ho!'s pebble ridge had been caught drink-driving less than two weeks earlier after accidentally setting fire to himself.
Robert Goaman, 39, of Armada Way, Westward Ho!, pleaded guilty to two counts of drink-driving when he appeared at North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday.
The court heard how during both incidents Goaman had been caught driving while more than three times over the legal alcohol limit.
Lyndsey Baker, for the prosecution, told the court that on the first occasion on February 12 police had been carrying out mobile patrols when they spotted Goaman driving erratically.
She said: “They monitored his progress and saw the vehicle on three occasions hit the inside kerb.”
After stopping the vehicle, police undertook a breathalyser test on Goaman, who gave a test reading of 118 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Tony Dart, for the defence, said that prior to the incident Goaman had been drinking at home, before falling asleep in front of a gas fire.
“He woke up to find his clothes on fire,” Mr Dart said. “ He was burnt quite badly. He needed to get some help, but instead of calling an ambulance he made the rather more foolish decision of trying to drive to a friend's to get some help.
“On that occasion he didn't get very far.”
On February 23, Goaman was once again arrested by police for drink-driving after he lodged his Mitshubishi L200 truck on top of the pebble ridge in Westward Ho! .
Mrs Baker told the court that prior to the incident Goaman had been drinking large amounts of red wine, allowing a friend to drive his vehicle for him.
However, she said once the group arrived at a car park near the ridge, Goaman insisted on driving the vehicle himself.
Mrs Baker said: “The defendant insisted on doing some off-roading. Mr Goaman drove up and over the ridge before trying to drive back, but got the vehicle stuck.”
Defending, Mr Dart said: “He was convinced he was not on public property and that he would have a go at driving it on the pebble ridge.
“He is now aware that it wasn't a very clever thing to have done.”
Magistrates sent the case to Exeter Crown Court for sentencing on April 3, after it was found to be in breach of a suspended sentence issued by the court last year. An interim driving ban was imposed on Goaman until the hearing takes place.