AN ILMINSTER man claimed he was trying to blot out TOOTHACHE when he was drink driving before rolling his partner's car.

Nicholas Peter Hickey, who had no licence or insurance, has been banned from driving for 40 months for his third drink driving conviction, after appearing before magistrates.

The court was told Hickey had been drinking to try and blot out a severe toothache when he took his partner’s car without her consent in the early hours of the morning to get more booze.

On the way back home, he lost control of the car and rolled it, colliding with four other vehicles parked in the street.

When he appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates they were told that the defendant had no licence, was not insured and had two previous convictions for drink driving and was liable for a minimum three-year disqualification.

Hickey, 48, of Blackdown View, pleaded guilty to driving a Nissan note at Ilminster on May 2 after consuming excess alcohol.

He also admitted taking his partner’s car without her consent and causing damage to four other vehicles and driving the car without insurance or a licence.

Prosecutor Emma Lenanton told the court at Yeovil that the defendant’s partner was asleep in bed when she had a call from Hickey at 3.30am saying she had better get dressed as he had just rolled her car.

She had not given him permission to drive the car and he also had no licence and was not insured.

“A witness living in Blackdown View had heard a loud bang and when her husband looked out he could see a car which had rolled over on its side," said Miss Lenanton.

“He saw a male climb out of the car and when he went outside to assist a group of people had gathered in the street.

“The defendant had rolled the car after hitting other vehicles in the street and a total of four other vehicles were damaged.”

The police were called and told that Hickey appeared to have been drinking and when officers arrived shortly afterwards they were told that the defendant was walking away.

They caught up with Hickey, who said it was not his car, but then confessed he had been the driver and said he did not have a driving licence.

He then failed a roadside breath test and while being taken to the police station said he was concerned about his neighbours’ cars and said he had been a “d***head”.

A further breath test revealed a reading of 60mcg of alcohol per 100m of breath, the legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol.

Miss Lenanton said Hickey had two previous convictions for drink driving in 2003 and 2010.

A spokesperson for the Probation Service said Hickey had been suffering with severe toothache that day and sought to address it by taking paracetamol and then used alcohol in a bid to self-medicate.

“Having consumed around half a bottle of whiskey he tried to get an emergency appointment with a dentist but the took his partner’s car and was trying to get to a 24-hour garage to get more alcohol to numb the pain,” she said.

“He did not feel he was driving erratically but admits the alcohol consumption may have impacted on his behaviour.”

She said Hickey had since gone to the victims’ homes to apologise and had recently become unemployed but was hoping to restart work soon as a painter and decorator.

The defendant said that he had offered to pay excess on the victims’ insurance policies for the damage he had caused.

Chair of the magistrates, Judy Watson, said it had been a very serious incident especially given he already had drink-driving offences on his record.

They banned him from driving for 40 months and sentenced him to a 12 month community order with a requirement to carry out 120 hours unpaid work along with £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

They did not offer him the chance to reduce his disqualification by completing a drink drive rehabilitation course as they said he had obviously not learnt from the last two occasions.