A company director who refused to give a breath test after being stopped for drink-driving now faces a mandatory road ban.
Simon Meredith, 53, was stopped at the wheel of his black Maserati Ghibli V6 Auto in Salford, Greater Manchester, after officers suspected he was speeding at around 12.35am on August 14.
The Warrington, Cheshire-based business coach refused to give a roadside breath sample. He had been drinking white wines that night and said that he didn’t understand the procedure before being placed in handcuffs.
He was later convicted of failing to provide a breath sample. Now he faces a mandatory road ban.
Meredith, a former freight company director, admitted the charge at Tameside magistrates Court. However, he claimed that he did not know refusing to take a breath test was an offense. Officers accused him of putting ‘pressure on’ him and asking if his sports were ‘needed’.
Simon Meredith (pictured outside the court), 53, was stopped at his Maserati black Maserati in Salford. Officers suspected that he was speeding.
His lawyer, Judith Hawkins stated that it was his case. He did not understand what was happening.
“It’s not the fault of police officers, they have a protocol which they must follow and police cannot actively help people who come into contact with them in these situations.
“He said that he did not understand the circumstances of agreeing to give a specimen.”
“But he thought there were an alternative, and he doesn’t understand the consequences of failing to provide.
He said that he was under pressure and felt like he was making sport of his car. He was asked about his job and whether he needed his vehicle to drive to his job.
The incident occurred on August 14, 2021 when a Salford, Greater Manchester police patrol spotted the black Maserati driving towards them. The driver was ‘appearing to’ be driving at excessive speed.
Officers followed Meredith and activated the emergency gear. They spoke to him. His eyes were ‘glazed’ and he was ‘a little unsteady on his feet, but could walk unassisted.
Miss Hawkins said that her client had no prior convictions. He has a clean driving record and drives many miles to work. He is aware that he has lost his good nature and is here today.
“On the night in question, he was driving his vehicle to see his girlfriend and wasn’t aware that he was doing anything wrong. I have viewed the CCTV footage and it is evident that there was very little to no pursuit.
He was accused of failing to provide a breath sample. Now, he faces a mandatory road ban
Warrington, Cheshire business coach, admitted to the charge, but claimed that he didn’t know refusing a breath sample was an offense.
“He found a safe place to stop. Although he may have been speeding, the police had to accelerate to catch him.
“There was some confusion in the interaction between police and defendant and this gentleman did not know what was going on.” He had never been asked to blow into an intoxicator before. He had drunk two glasses of wine hours earlier.
“He was open and honest, stating that he had taken a drink, but that he believed he wasn’t over the limit. After being arrested, he was in shock. He has anxiety and a depressive disorder.
“It is correct to say that he didn’t provide a specimen, but he was distressed about the whole thing and is sad that he didn’t think harder or more clearly at the moment.
He suffers from anxiety and depression and was concerned about getting his medication. He was not aware of the reason he was stopped and has no clue to this day. He was forced to get out of the car with handcuffs, which is difficult for anyone.
“There is no evidence of drunken behavior, but there is the refusal. This gentleman owns his own company.
He has been driving and working in Freight since the age of 21. He built a great business, but it went bankrupt in 2018.
“That business had to be closed because he couldn’t sustain it anymore, but he has since built a smaller business that employs four people who depend on him.
“He works long hours and is the face for his business. He offers advice to those who want to start small or medium-sized businesses. His family and friends highly regard him.
He supports his girlfriend in her struggles and disqualification is going to have an impact on her life and her family.
“This incident is completely out of character. He deeply regretted it and he feels genuine regret. He earns up to £3000 per month and has £2585 per month expenses.
Miss Tina Cunnane, an earlier prosecutor, stated that police saw a black Maserati vehicle speeding towards them. The defendant seemed to be driving at excessive speed. The officer used his emergency gear to stop the defendant.
‘When the police spoke with him, they saw that his eyes were glazed and that his feet were unsteady but he could walk unassisted. He refused to provide the specimens for analysis, despite medical reasons. He said no categorically. It was a deliberate refusal.
Meredith will be sentenced in the next month following the completion of a report. However, he was issued an interim driving ban. He was cleared of the charges of failing stop for police, failing cooperate and careless driving.
JP Martin Drake said to him: “We have listened carefully to all that has been said. This was a deliberate refusal, but it is less harm and you are a man with good character.