Arrest ended Lanark internet date before it began

Teacher on blind date parked at water tower
Teacher on blind date parked at water tower

A teacher travelled all the way up from Leeds in West Yorkshire to meet in person at Lanark a woman he had got to know over the internet.

But far from being the road to romance, that 200-mile journey led to his arrest.

Parking at the water tower in Smyllum, he sought some “Dutch courage” as he prepaired to meet the woman, drinking a can of beer and some rum in the car.

He was still sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running when the police found him.

And at Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday, Russell Horne , 44, of Morley in Leeds, admitted being in charge of a car while four times the legal alcohol limit.

“He did not make it to the blind date?,” a sheriff asked, and on being told he had not, added: “I was going to ask how it went.”

“It did not go well,” said solicitor Archie Hill.

The court heard that police officers in Smyllum Road on a separate matter that night, January 15, saw Horne sitting in the car with its engine running and lights on.

He smelled of alcohol, and there was an empty bottle of Hobgoblin beer in the footwell of the driver’s seat and an open bottle of rum in the back seat.

He failed a roadside breath test and was arrested.

Explaining why Horne was at the water tower, Mr Hill told the sheriff: “He had travelled from Leeds to meet with a lady in Smyllum.

“This was effectively a blind date, but they had been in contact with each other for a considerable period over the internet.

“He parked, and he consumed the bottle of beer and took a few sips from the rum for Dutch courage.”

Mr Hill added that: “If he had got into the house and it had not worked out, he would have had to go back to the car.”

Horne had no previous convictions of any kind but had had issues with alcohol, the court heard. He is a supply teacher and gets paid only when he is working.

The sheriff took account of his previous good character, and fined him £315, imposing 10 points on his licence.