A MAN who was found drunk and asleep at the wheel of his Tesla has avoided a ban after saying he had been trying to stay away from his ex-wife.
Simon Hayes, 50, claimed that he had been drinking whisky in the £58,000 luxury car to avoid going home out of fear for running into his former partner.
The businessman from Wilmslow, Cheshire, was found in a car park just a mile from his £500,000 home three times over the legal limit.
It emerged that he was going through a bitter breakup of his marriage and had left work at 10am after a meltdown on September 23.
The dad-of-four said he parked up to avoid going home and insisted he only started drinking after stopping the car.
He admitted being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle and faced being slapped with a ban.
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Prosecuting, Tanya Berridge-Burley said: "The officers parked behind the vehicle. The driver’s door was locked. The officer looked inside and could see a male who appeared to be asleep.
"It was necessary to bang hard on the window to rouse the male. He appeared to be very disorientated. He wound the window down and officers could immediately smell intoxicants. His eyes were glazed, his speech was slurred.
"He identified himself as Simon Hayes, the defendant. The officers requested a sample of breath for a roadside breath test. The test resulted in a fail. He was arrested and cautioned and he made no reply."
In mitigation, Hayes' counsel Paul Hodgkinson said: "I do accept that the scenario in which he was arrested does not make good listening but he is going through a very difficult divorce, not one of his choosing if I can put it in those terms.
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"Usually he is hardworking and industrious but he said ‘I cannot go into work today.’ He was not in a drunken state. He basically had a breakdown.
"He drove to the car park which is in walking distance of where he lives and the reason he was there was that his wife still had access to the family home."
He continued "Because they were emptying the family home and it was an acrimonious split, the defendant could not go to his home because he would have met his wife and things would have gotten into trouble.
"He thought discretion was the better part of valour so he stayed in the carpark and he began to drink the whisky. Lots of his belongings were in the vehicle because he had spent the time before clearing out the family home."
Hayes was spared a ban but given ten penalty points on his license.
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He was also fined £960 and ordered to pay a £484 victim surcharge.
He was pictured leaving court with his new partner.
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