Rich drink driver who could have killed someone but got off unpaid community work because “it would make her feel uncomfortable” Barbara Woodward is an utter disgrace
If ever there were a case of: “There’s one rule for the rich and another for the poor,” Cheshire widow Barbara Woodward sums such up perfectly.
Discovered drunk in a car park on 17th November 2017 with “makeup smudged across her face… slurring her words [and] very incoherent,” Mrs Woodward was found to be four times over the legal limit by police. She was “slumped” at the wheel of her £80,000 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and accompanied by her dog, a number of bottles of wine and a sandwich.
At her trial this week at Stockport Magistrates’ Court, Mrs Woodward outrageously put in a not guilty plea and attempted to claim she needed her luxury car as it was too far to walk down the driveway to her multi-million pound mansion. Of her situation Nigel Benson, defending, told the court:
“This lady has quite a large front drive, it is a quarter of a mile from the road and [a ban] would be difficult for her – she would have to make some lifestyle changes to go about her day-to-day life.”
“She is a lady of mature years who has led a blameless life and has somehow found herself breaking the law… She is already in a strange enough situation for her and giving her unpaid work would put her in an alien surrounding and would make her feel uncomfortable and out of her depth. She has never worked and putting her in this situation will affect her mental health.”
Of her, in a report, a probation officer added:
“She went out to buy alcohol because she [claimed she] had friends coming over and she liked to make sure they had something to drink… This was completely out of character for her. She doesn’t drink ever. Her husband never drank, they didn’t have alcohol in the house.”
“She has never had to pay a bill her life. She has never worked… She has never had financial issues… She is a mature lady and I don’t think she would benefit from unpaid work or a curfew… I challenged her about why she felt the need to go out in rush hour traffic at 9am on a Friday morning to buy wine and she accepts she was in a vulnerable situation… Due to the fact she hasn’t worked, she would find herself in an alien situation and I believe this would add to her stress and mental wellbeing.”
Despite being rightly banned from the road for two years, that Mrs Woodward got off a harsher punishment and community service is utterly wrong. One is now simply left asking: “If this wealthy woman had killed someone whilst at the wheel or was poor, would the courts be treating her with such lenience?”
Follow The Steeple Times on Twitter at @SteepleTimes.