'Stressed out' mobile barber's driving ban for smoking cannabis after mum's stroke – Worcester News

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Worcester 9°c
GUILTY: Matthew O’Sullivan. Photo: James Connell
A ‘STRESSED out’ mobile barber turned drug driver smoked cannabis after his mum suffered a stroke.
Matthew O’Sullivan of Forest End, Hampton Lovett, near Droitwich admitted drug driving when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday.
The 36-year-old was behind the wheel of a Hyundai Coupe in Pershore Lane, Worcester on May 22 this year when he was stopped by police.
He tested positive for Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, a metabolite of the class B drug. The reading was 3.7 microgrammes per litre of blood, close to twice the limit of 2 microgrammes.
Melanie Winterflood, prosecuting, said he was stopped by officers at 9.20pm.
“They could smell cannabis coming from the vehicle” she said.
He failed a roadside drug swipe and was arrested and cautioned.
Miss Winterflood said: “There was nothing aggravating about this offence. There is nothing to suggest there was a poor manner of driving.”
His only previous conviction for driving without insurance in May this year which resulted in his licence being endorsed with six penalty points.
O’Sullivan, who represented himself, said: “When I got stopped I didn’t have any cannabis on me.”
The defendant explained that he had been working late and that his mum had suffered a stroke two days before. He said he had been at house and was offered cannabis.
“I was stressed out and he says ‘here you are, have a go on this’. I made the mistake and just tried it. I wasn’t massively over the limit” he said.
He explained that he had been a mobile barber 12 months before the coronavirus pandemic started and once that began he had not been able to work.
“I couldn’t work as a barber anyway” he said. “Sixty per cent of my work is travelling to people’s houses who don’t want to go to a barber’s shop. I go to disabled people’s lives and dementia homes.” O’Sullivan said of the drug driving: “I regret every minute of it. I apologise.”
Magistrates fined him £276, reduced from £415 to reflect his early guilty plea, ordered him to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £34.
He was banned from driving for 12 months. A fines collection order was made, giving the bench extra powers to recover the money.
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