A BROMSGROVE chef and cafe owner has been freed from custody after successfully appealing at Worcester Crown Court against an 18-week jail sentence.

It was imposed by Redditch magistrates on 41-year-old Stephen Mole for driving whilst disqualified and failing to give a sample of breath. He also admitted failing to stop and assault on police.

He was arrested in the early hours of May 20 after police found him asleep at the wheel in a car park in Alcester Road, Bromsgrove. When they woke him, he wound down the window and they could smell drink.

Paul Whitfield, prosecuting, said an officer put his hand through the window but Mole drove off. The officer was trapped and forced to run alongside the car for a short distance before he could free himself. When Mole was eventually arrested he refused to give a breath sample.
Mole, of Marlborough Avenue, Bromsgrove, was jailed by the magistrates when he entered guilty pleas and was also ordered to pay £200 compensation to the officer.

Mr Whitfield said that Mole had five previous convictions for breathalyser offences since 1997.
Barry Newton, in mitigation, said Mole was hard-working. He had worked as a chef and trained to be a quantity surveyor.

Recently he had started a cafe in Bromsgrove despite having £10,000 debts. He had a partner, who was pregnant, and she had not known that he was a secret drinker.

He had met a friend on the way home from the cafe, where he worked from 7am to 5pm, and they had gone for a drink. He had stopped on the way home because he felt drowsy.

Judge Richard Rundell, sitting with magistrates, said that despite Mole's bad record for driving after drinking, they had decided to suspend the prison sentence. Mole must attend a driver impaired through drink course and observe a 7pm to 6am curfew for three months.