Motorist refused to give blood sample because of fear of needles sparked by coma

First published in News

A MOTORIST caught swerving on a road refused to give a blood sample to police because she developed a phobia of needles after suffering flashbacks from a coma, a court heard.

Lyn Rees, 57, of Fron Wen, Blackwood, said she had swerved onto white lines in Risca at 1am because she was moving house with large items in her car.

Rees was repeatedly asked to provide a sample of breath but was unable to do so because of a lung condition known as emphysema, Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court was told.

She was taken to Ystrad Mynach police station where she declined to have a blood sample taken from her, prosecutor David Cooke said.

Mr Cooke said she had been asked to blow into a breathalyser 10 to 15 times.

Her solicitor, Nathan Fear, said her phobia of needles had stemmed from her five-month coma which started in summer 2007.

Mr Fear said she had suffered flashbacks of the time of her coma and had “significant problems” with her health through the years.

Police stopped Rees in a Ford Fiesta at around 1am on December 15 last year.

Mr Fear told the court she had to move house overnight and accordingly had to go back and forth between the two addresses and was tired as a result.

Rees told the court: "I was not drink driving your honour."

The matter was initially listed for trial but Rees pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen of blood.

Magistrate Pauline Andrews banned her from driving for 16 months.

The defendant agreed to take a driving rehabilitation order which could reduce her driving disqualification by 17 weeks.

JP Andrews also ordered her to pay a £150 fine, £135 prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

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