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Mobility scooter thief handed ban

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A Manchester woman has received a driving ban after she was caught driving a stolen mobility scooter erratically while over the legal alcohol limit.

When Amanda Leaff, 46, gets her licence back she will face higher car insurance premiums after stealing the scooter from Asda to make the 10-mile trip home following a night out.

During her appearance at Oldham Magistrates' Court she said she took the vehicle, which has a maximum speed of 2.4mph, to save money on a taxi fare and to give her friend a lift to a party.

She was stopped and breathalysed by an off-duty police officer two-and-a-half miles into her journey, and recorded a reading of alcohol in breath of 77mg - the legal limit being 35mg.

Ms Leaff said that, had she not been caught, she would have returned the vehicle after she had finished with it.

She pleaded guilty to the charge of driving a mobility scooter while unfit through drink and taking the vehicle without consent. She received a 20-month ban.

Chief Inspector Haydn Roberts of Greater Manchester Police's Traffic Network Section said: "It is extremely irresponsible to try and drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol."

© Press Association 2009