A chocolatier has escaped jail for drink driving after telling a court how being deprived of alcohol and driving while living in Saudi Arabia left her struggling upon her return to Britain.
Former British ex-Pat Kathy Bacchus, 50, who also worked as a cookery teacher abroad, got so drunk on white wine at 3pm she drove home from an off licence with a punctured tyre.
An eye witness who saw her Vauxhall Astra scrape along a suburban street saw Bacchus stumble and fall over the bonnet of the vehicle as she stopped and got out outside her home.
Police who arrived at her semi detached property in Worsley, Greater Manchester found Bacchus was unsteady on her feet and slurring her words. The witness later told officers: "How she hadn't killed someone I don't know."
At Manchester magistrates court Bacchus, who worked as an "Event and Laboratory" manageress for a chocolatier company in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, admitted driving with excess alcohol.
But she escaped with a suspended prison sentence after the court heard she turned to alcohol having "struggled as a female" in the Arab country where alcohol is forbidden, and where women were not allowed to drive.
It is is thought she stopped working in Jeddah in 2017 before the ban on women drivers was lifted in 2018.
The arrest took place on February 10 after Bacchus had gone to a Co-op to buy wine.
Tests showed Bacchus had 146 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
In a plea from the dock she said: "Please don't send me to jail. I had been suffering from anxiety and depression since October and I am not coping very well in life at the moment."
A probation report read to the court said: "She has described to me quite a turbulent 12 month period after she moved back from Saudi Arabia where she struggled with being a female in a country with quite strict laws and regulations. She has moved home ahead of her husband and she's got a very limited support network."
It added that she has accepted she has become "alcohol dependant".
Bacchus was sentenced to 12 weeks jail suspended for 12 months and was ordered to complete a six month alcohol treatment programme. She was also banned from driving for three years and was was told to pay costs and surcharges of £200.