Drunk in charge of horse

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A DRUNK South Yorkshire man who was stopped by police after his pony and trap went through a red light blamed his horse’s colour-blindness for the mistake.

But John Mulvenna did not fool officers and he was prosecuted for being drunk in charge of his horse Fred and the carriage.

After being given a 12-month conditional discharge with £50 costs by Barnsley magistrates Mulvenna, 56, said: “I have had Fred since he was a foal. I bred him and he’s the best you can get, but he is a bit colour-blind.”

Mulvenna was arrested in the town centre and had earlier been seen driving the wrong way up a one-way street.

Jayne Ormrod, prosecuting, said Mulvenna had been drinking and the horse was rearing up. She added the driver used a whip to bring the animal under control and Fred seemed distressed.

Mrs Ormrod said: “The defendant was struggling to control the horse and trap. He was shouting and had slurred speech.

“His eyes were red and watery and he smelt of drink. He was also staggering around.

“When asked why the horse and carriage had gone through the traffic lights he said the horse was colour-blind.”

Mulvenna’s solicitor, John Dobbin, said his client had been at an event in a village four miles way.

Mulvenna had two pints at a pub on the way back and another two in the town centre.

“He thought he was in a proper state to control the horse and trap. It is clear that he was not,” said Mr Dobbin.

Mulvenna, of Smithies Lane Caravan Park, Smithies, admitted being drunk in charge of a horse and carriage.

After the hearing he said: “About 20 horse and carts went for a drive around Cawthorne and Kexborough.

“I had a few pints and thought it was fine, then whoops-a-daisy there was a policewoman.”

He added: “I wasn’t stupefied drunk.”