Drink-driver discovered asleep at the wheel walks free from court

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Angela Willan

A drink-driver who was found slumped at the wheel of her vehicle with a freezing child sat in the backseat of her car has avoided jail.

Manchester University security officers discovered Angela Willan, 29, asleep at the wheel of her car, which was parked up outside an entrance to a university building with the keys in the ignition.

Security thought Willan was sleeping but they soon called in police assistance when they could smell a strong aroma of alcohol coming from the cabin.

Prosecutor Tina Cunnane said that police attended the scene and discovered a half drunk bottle of whisky in the footwell of the car and young child sat in the rear seats.

The child was said to be 'shivering with cold' and had also wet himself. Police took him into protective custody.

Willan, from Whitefield, near Bury, was arrested after failing a breath test. At the station, she gave a reading of 64mg in 100ml of breath, nearly twice the legal limit of 35.

According to The Mirror, Willan had told police that a friend had visited her home on the evening of the incident and convinced her to drink as many as five brandy and cokes.

She then got into the car with her friend and her young child but she ran out of fuel. Willan waited in the car with the child while her friend went to find a petrol station.

Philip Reed, defending, said: "This was a one-off and was a moment of madness that has blighted this young woman's life. All decision making was coloured by alcohol," reported The Mirror.

The Manchester Evening News reported that Willan had been warned she faced jail. But was instead sentenced to a community order with 120 hours of unpaid work.

She must also be supervised by probation staff for a year and was ordered to pay £85 costs with a £60 victim surcharge.

She was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Chair of the bench Barbara Wall said: "Due to the seriousness of this case it has passed the custody threshold.

"However due to your willingness to work with the authorities, we have decided to make a community order."