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Keighley News
Psychiatrist banned from the road for drink-driving
By Keighley News reporter
July 20, 2020

Shubhra Singh - psychiatrist

Shubhra Singh – psychiatrist

A PSYCHIATRIST has been disqualified from driving after admitting being over the drink-drive limit.

Shubhra Singh, 48, was driving along Ellers Road towards Sutton, on Friday, March 6 this year when she clipped the mirror and quarter panel of another vehicle which was being driven towards Keighley, Skipton magistrates heard.

Prosecuting Nadine Clough said the witness driving the damaged car saw Singh’s car drifting across the road towards him. He realised he was going to be struck and moved his own vehicle towards the verge but there was still some contact.

Miss Clough added Singh, who works at Bradford District Care Trust’s Bracken Ward in the grounds of Airedale Hospital, continued to drive so the witness followed her to Sutton where he spoke to her in Main Street. She denied colliding with him. Her vehicle then rolled forward into another car, causing damage. He realised then she had been drinking alcohol. The police were called and Singh was arrested.

She was taken to Harrogate Police Station but there was a fault with the breathalyser machine. She provided a sample of blood which showed she had 115 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrammes.

Miss Clough said Singh, of Back Lane, Stanbury, Keighley, had a similar conviction in 2010 but it was in January and two months outside the 10 year period where a second conviction would have led to a longer ban.

Defending, Keith Blackwell, said his client had worked for the NHS for 20 years and was a psychiatrist.

He said she specialised in old-age psychiatry and at the time of the incident had been busy at work as the Covid-19 pandemic had started.

He said on the Friday she had been drinking some wine at home thinking she had finished for the weekend but got a call asking if she would see someone who was suffering mental health problems and she agreed, adding that the visit had required two therapists to be present.

“She didn’t think she was over the limit. She was very tired from work where the department was 20 to 25 per cent under strength. She was unaware there had been a collision.”

Mr Blackwell said unfortunately Singh had forgotten to pull the handbrake on when she spoke to the witness and her car rolled forward and collided with another car. He said she was extremely contrite and felt she had let her colleagues down. She had sought psychiatric help and was working with a specialist therapist who deals with complex trauma.

He said she had trained as a doctor in India and had had an arranged marriage. She had two children but the marriage started to go wrong and she suffered abusive behaviour.

She was going through a divorce from her husband who had returned to India. Mr Blackwell added that at the time of the incident she had a lot going on. She was feeling very tired and subsequent tests found she had had Covid-19 herself.

Magistrates banned Singh from driving for 12 months and offered her the drink-drive rehabilitation course which would reduce her ban by 13 weeks.

She was also fined £1,546 and was ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £154.