Drama: How Kenyan man escaped arrest in UK for drunk driving
A Kenyan man in the United Kingdom who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) and then disappeared to rehab in Kenya for months has been banned from driving for 5 years in the UK.
Walter Kinuthia, 35, refused to open the car doors when they were stopped by police officers on Barton Road. He was also accused of giving a false name and refusing to follow other police orders.
“He says he doesn’t like to give details and doesn’t trust the officer,” Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard.
The officers eventually discovered his correct identity, discovering that he was disqualified from driving until 2024. They noticed open bottles of whisky in the car.
When he was taken to the police station, he refused to provide a breath sample to test whether or not he was over the drink-drive limit.
“He says he’s not happy to provide and doesn’t trust the officer,” the court heard.
His attorney told the court that her client, who worked as a caregiver, had witnessed unending deaths and suffered a mental breakdown during the pandemic.
Kinuthia admitted that he had a suspended licence, driving with no insurance and failed to provide a breath sample when he appeared before the justices last November.
However, things took a turn when he went absent without leave for eight months.
According to his lawyer, Kinuthia returned to Kenya, where he checked himself into a mental health facility. He stopped drinking for five months and remained abstinent from alcohol.
In August, he flew back to the UK and surrendered to the court to finalize the pending case against him.
“The day after he landed he handed himself in at court because he knew this was pending,” his lawyer said.
He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison with a two-year reprieve and ordered to undergo six months of mental health treatment. The court also fined him Sh30,000 in costs.
“There was a reason why you had been disqualified in the first place and you wilfully disobeyed that order and we heard when you were stopped you were driving at speed and fairly recklessly,” the Judge said.
Driving whilst disqualified carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment.
Effectively a breach of a court order on a driving ban is typically viewed seriously by judges and justices.
The court also heard Kinuthia had first been banned in 2013 for driving with excess alcohol in his system. He had subsequently been given further disqualifications for drunk driving.