Polish fishworker drove at twice the limit after being attacked by gang

A Polish man drove at more than twice the drink driving limit because he was being pursued by a gang of men who had assaulted him.

Hubert Skwara, 41, of Arheim in Lerwick, was left with a fracture to his left eye-socket when he was attacked as he walked home from a friend’s house in the early hours of 3rd July.

However, the fish factory worker ran back to the house in Haldane Burgess Crescent after the attack. He feared he was still being chased and got into his car before driving off. Police on patrol pulled him over at the Tesco roundabout at 2.30am. He failed the roadside screening test and was arrested.

In court today Skwara admitted driving with 88 microgrammes of alcohol in his system – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and fined £700.

Skwara had intended to launch a defence of necessity, claiming he should not have faced a ban because he needed the car to escape his pursuers. But he did not persevere with that claim and instead accepted he could have gone back to his friend’s house rather than get behind the wheel.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said officers had noticed an injury above Skwara’s left eye while they were questioning him.
He had appeared unaware of the injury but later told police he had been assaulted by a number of men who were not known to him.

“Inquiries into that are still continuing and none of the males have been identified,” Mr MacKenzie told the court.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Skwara had been confused following the attack. After attending at the police station he went to hospital where he was kept overnight. The fracture to his eye socket has not yet fully heeled.

“It’s accepted . . . that he would struggle with a defence of necessity, and so far as special reasons for non-disqualification are concerned he would now accept he should have returned to the house from where he came,” Mr Allan said.

“His position is he was disorientated and simply wanted to get home. But he has to accept he could have summoned assistance from somewhere, even though he did not have a mobile phone on him.”

Sheriff Graeme Napier told Skwara: “For a reading such as this I would have been disqualifying you from driving for at least two years and fining you a penalty starting from £1,500.

“Taking into account the mitigating circumstances I accept there is a limited element of mitigation. I’m satisfied from what I am told that you would never have persuaded me there were special reasons for non-disqualification. What I will do is take into account the circumstances in penalty I impose.”

Skwara can reduce his ban by four months if he completes the drink drivers rehabilitation course.


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