A PUBLIC-SPIRITED young man whose actions in disarming another male wielding a knife featured in a court case was himself before magistrates this week.
Dean Darbourne, 25, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink when he appeared before the court in Bodmin on Monday.
Chris Nicholls, for the defence, said Darbourne had no previous convictions and had "demonstrated his commitment to society" by disarming a man holding a 7in kitchen knife outside a Lostwithiel pub in 2009.
Gail Hawksley, for the prosecution, said that in the early hours of September 8 last year Darbourne, of St Mary's Road, Bodmin, had been found by police asleep in the driver's seat of a Renault Clio parked awkwardly in St George's Road, Newquay. There was damage to the car and Darbourne, who had the keys, had been sick down his front. He was woken by the officers and a breath test showed 100 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the limit being 35mcg.
Mr Nicholls said Darbourne and a friend had parked the car at an angle on St George's Road after having difficulty finding a parking space.
They then went on a night out in Newquay.
Later Darbourne found that he was unable to get a taxi home due to a broken cash card and decided to sleep in his car. There was no suggestion that the engine was running or warm.
Mr Nicholls said that Darbourne had experienced a traumatic couple of years and for a while, following a head injury, life had "fallen apart". It was very much to his credit that things were now back on track for him.
He also referred to a court case reported in this newspaper on February 10, 2010, in which Darbourne, then a bar worker, was described as running out of the Royal Talbot after hearing a woman screaming. Seeing a man with a large knife, he grabbed the man's hand so that he dropped the weapon. The man later pleaded guilty to possession of a blade in a public place.
The magistrates told Darbourne he would not lose his driving licence – a ban being discretionary for being in charge of a vehicle when over the alcohol limit. He was fined £500 with £100 costs and a £50 victim surcharge, and his licence was endorsed with ten penalty points.