Former deputy headmistress, 40, was 4 occasions drink-drive restrict in head-on lunchtime shunt
A Lancashire deputy headmistress who taught at a controversial ‘religious’ college has averted jail over a lunchtime drink driving smash, saying she is getting therapy for a extreme alcohol drawback.
Hayley Copplestone, 40, examined greater than 4 occasions the alcohol restrict after her black BMW veered onto the incorrect facet of the highway and crashed into an oncoming Nissan Juke at 1pm on April 23 of this 12 months.
She left Sefton Magistrates’ Courtroom yesterday after being handed a suspended sentence, driving ban, a wonderful and 84 hours of unpaid work
Within the moments after the head-on collision, Copplestone staggered from her car and instructed the opposite driver she was ‘sorry’ earlier than strolling off.
Police have been known as to the scene and he or she was positioned at a close-by property shortly afterwards.
Sefton Magistrates’ Courtroom heard yesterday that Copplestone, from Croston, close to Preston, has no earlier convictions and is getting therapy for her extreme alcohol drawback – earlier than she was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment as a suspended sentence.
Because the collision she has been getting non-public counselling and joined Alcoholics Nameless.
The incident occurred in April this 12 months in Bootle, Liverpool – eight months after she left her job on the religious college, which is known as after the Indian yoga guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The mom of 1 had beforehand been deputy head instructor on the state-funded Maharishi Free Faculty in Ormskirk, Lancashire, the place pupils be taught ‘Transcendental Meditation’ calming strategies as a part of their curriculum.
Transcendental meditation was coined by the Indian yoga guru within the Fifties and is a type of optimistic, mantra-based meditation.
Mom-of-one Hayley Copplestone, 40, examined greater than 4 occasions the alcohol restrict after the collision
The varsity has simply over 200 college students and makes use of ‘consciousness-based training’ strategies together with the meditation, which pupils practise for ten minute periods no less than twice a day.
Shannen Carey, prosecuting, instructed the court docket Copplestone had been dirving on Kirkstone Street West when she veered into oncoming site visitors.
She instructed the court docket the driving force of the Nissan slowed down because the automotive got here in direction of them, then got here to a cease – however the BMW continued driving and hit the entrance of the automotive, earlier than swerving and hitting a blue Peugeot.
Ms Carey mentioned: ‘The feminine driver bought out of the BMW and walked over and mentioned she was sorry.
‘The witness requested what occurred and the driving force supplied her particulars, her identify and handle.
‘The witness thought the BMW driver was behaving in an odd method and didn’t look like proper.
‘She was talking slowly, her eyes have been glazed. She tried to put in writing down her particulars however she couldn’t.
‘The witness thought she could also be drunk and requested a member of the general public to name the police.’
As soon as police had been known as, the court docket heard Copplestone was discovered at a close-by handle.
She failed a roadside breath take a look at and was taken into custody the place the drink-drive process was performed, and he or she was discovered to be greater than 4 occasions above the authorized restrict.
In mitigation her lawyer Sinead Fearon mentioned: ‘It’s clear from the sentencing tips that this offence begins with a right away time period of imprisonment – nonetheless, given her lack of earlier convictions and her immediate responsible plea a custodial sentence can absolutely be suspended.
One of many drivers Copplestone collided with reported she had been unable to put in writing her particulars down for them, main them to surprise if she was drunk
Copplestone’s lawyer instructed the court docket she has been ‘engaged on herself’, and has taken up non-public counselling and joined Alcoholics Nameless to attempt to deal with her alcohol drawback
‘A plethora of references have been handed into the court docket, I don’t have to go over how encouraging they’re. They paint an image of a really totally different particular person from what we’ve got heard immediately.
‘She has been looking for assist and dealing on herself. She has taken up non-public counselling, had her treatment modified, and he or she has gone to Alcoholics Nameless the place she has accomplished the 12 step program.
‘She has attended Aspire [drug and alcohol service] as nicely. She will not be coming to court docket with a cap in hand demanding that the court docket assist her.
‘The truth is she is devastated by her actions. She is remorseful and making an attempt to kind herself out no matter what occurs within the court docket immediately.’
‘This has been an unimaginable studying expertise for the defendant. She positioned her son, her liberty and her job – which she had labored onerous at for a few years – she put them in danger and he or she will not be going to try this once more. ‘
Copplestone was additionally ordered to finish 84 hours of unpaid work, 20 days of Rehabilitative Actions and a six-month alcohol therapy program. She was banned from driving for 36 months.
Chairman of the bench Brian Wilson instructed her: ‘I don’t have to inform you how severe this matter is earlier than the court docket immediately.
‘It has handed the custody threshold since you have been concerned in an accident and the style of your driving on the day.
However he added: ‘We really feel that there’s a practical prospect of rehabilitation which you’ve gotten demonstrated by already looking for some assist, you’ve gotten undertaken non-public counselling, attended AA conferences and accomplished the 12-step program.
‘We have now additionally thought of the numerous influence any fast custodial sentence would have in your son.’
Copplestone was additional ordered to pay £213 in prices and a sufferer surcharge.
The Maharishi Free Faculty was present in 1986 with the college proclaiming its Consciousness Based mostly Training’ helps pupils ‘unfold their very own creativity and intelligence as a foundation for larger achievement.’
In line with college officers, this system permits the scholars to be calmer, extra centered and relaxed and improves their capacity to be taught and Ofsted inspectors mentioned the college supplied an ‘excellent training’.
However in 2011 union leaders in contrast the college to a ‘spiritual sect’ and was criticised for its ‘religious and pseudoscientific’ educating’ by MPs together with Labour’s Lisa Nandy who serves as Shadow Secretary for Levelling Up.
In Could 2012 a bunch of professors and science communicators wrote a letter to The Guardian calling the Maharishi college a ‘severe menace to training’ for its educating of pseudoscience, evaluating it to the hazards of creationist faculties.
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