JCB worker now living in tent after losing job, relationship and driving licence

-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)

A former JCB worker was caught drink driving after resorting to sleeping in his car. James Maddox had worked for the digger-maker for more than 20 years.

But North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard he ended up homeless when his relationship broke down and he was told to leave. The 49-year-old turned to drink while living in his car which resulted in him losing his job.

The court heard he was then pulled over was in Bentilee after police received a tip-off he was driving without his lights on and swerving over the road. He was breathalysed and gave a reading of 116 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - three times the legal limit of 35.

Now Maddox has been handed a 12-month community order and hit with a 27-month driving ban.

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Mark Bromley, mitigating, said Maddox was employed by JCB for decades. Mr Bromley said: "He was living in his car and drinking too much. That led to him losing his job at JCB and finding himself arrested.

"He is living in a tent at the moment. The car has gone back to the finance company. He has very little to the clothes he stands up in.

"He has made an application to the council for housing but as he is a man with no dependents he is not a priority. But he has managed to secure accommodation through a private landlord at Snow Hill, Shelton.

"He acknowledges he has been having issues with alcohol. He goes to CDAS (Stoke-on-Trent Community Drug and Alcohol Service) every week for assistance. There is now light at the end of the tunnel."

Maddox, formerly of Soames Crescent, Longton, pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without insurance.

Prosecutor Hannah Baddeley said police received a call from an informant on March 1 to say the defendant's headlights weren't on he and swerving across the road. Miss Baddeley said Maddox pulled into a garage and was stopped by police. She said: "He had no insurance on his vehicle. Checks were made in respect of that.

"He provided a positive roadside breath test and was taken to custody where he was breathalysed and his lowest reading was 116 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, against the legal limit of 35."

As part of the suspended sentence Maddox must complete a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and 80 hours unpaid work. District Judge Ian Barnes said: "The police were notified. They spoke to you because of your lights being off. Police noted you were unsteady on your feet."

Maddox was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 surcharge. His ban will be reduced by 27 weeks if he completes a drink-drivers' rehabilitation course.

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