If there was such a device as a sad-o-meter – something which measured how sad some people really are – then Paul Hastings, 45, would have broken it by maxing it out.
Hastings, a company director, was four times the limit as he lurched into a garage and attempted to pay for fuel he hadn’t even pumped into his car. He hadn’t put ANY in his car. He then staggered back to his car and the garage staff alerted police. In the meanwhile he nearly collided with other vehicles as he manoeuvred his car to the correct pump.
His defence lawyer seemed to be all out of ideas, offering only:
We have a wholly exceptional set of circumstances which are never to be repeated.
So we must assume that he has never done anything like it before, but without getting caught. But how sad do you have to be to get into a state like this? Hastings got a 9-week suspended sentence and was banned for 32 months. He was also ordered to pay a paltry £85 costs, and £80 victim surcharge. As a director, that must have hit him really hard.
He should have been put away for a year and banned for life.