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High-flyer drank to cope with ‘lowly’ job

Bottle of wine: Hughes PICTURE: CAVENDISH

A FORMER high-flying PA who drove while four times the drink limit walked free after her lawyer said she used alcohol to ‘cope’ with a job that was ‘beneath’ her.

Police were called to a Marks & Spencer food store in Prestwich, near Manchester, where staff saw Susan Hughes, 48, struggle to park. She was found to have 139 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35mg. She later admitted she had drunk a bottle of wine at a pub.

Her lawyer Michael Lees said: ‘She was successful, she worked as a personal assistant for a director of a large construction company and was earning £30,000, but was made redundant. The work she is undertaking is somewhat beneath her — and beneath her abilities. She used alcohol as a coping mechanism yet knows this doesn’t offer any long-term solution.’

He said the single parent, who has a £15,000 job in the hotel industry, was seeking counselling.

Hughes, of Golborne, admitted drink-driving and was given an 18-week suspended sentence and a four-year driving ban by Manchester magistrates.