Cocaine addict, 25, who failed to provide blood test after she was pulled over for drug-driving claimed she couldn’t take test because she has a phobia of needles
- Sophie Cork, 25, from Crewe, Cheshire, was driving through the town at 4.50am
- A drug wipe found she was driving her Fiat 500 under the influence of cocaine
- When Cork was asked to do a blood test, she refused and said she had a phobia
- She said her fear of needles was due to needing weekly blood tests as a child
- Crewe Magistrates’ Court fined her £230, banned her from driving for 14 months and ordered her to pay £212 in costs
A woman who failed to provide a blood test for police after she was pulled over for drug-driving claimed she could not take the test as she has a phobia of needles.
Sophie Cork, 25, had been told to give a sample after she was arrested by officers who were tipped off she was under the influence of cocaine whilst driving her Fiat 500.
But Cork, from Crewe, Cheshire insisted she was so frightened of needles due to a harrowing childhood encounter with them, she would be in tears with her ‘teeth chattering’ and her ‘body shaking.’
She was subsequently charged with failing to provide a blood specimen.
At Crewe (South Cheshire) Magistrates’ Court, Cork, who works part-time, admitted the charge having earlier confessing to snorting cocaine the evening before her arrest.
But she insisted: ‘I wanted to fight the charge – however I do not have the money so I have pleaded guilty. What happened is that I have a terrible phobia of needles. It is in my medical records and I have since I was a little girl.’
Magistrates fined Cork £230 and ordered her to pay £212 in costs and a victim surcharge. She was banned from driving for 14 months.
Sophie Cork was driving her Fiat 500 through Crewe at 4.50am when cops stopped her and she took a drug wipe which tested positive for cocaine
To assist with sentencing, the legal advisor told the magistrates that it was not a deliberate refusal to provide a sample so she could be sentenced at a lower level.
He said Cork acknowledged to police that she would not have given a blood test in any event and that if she had taken the test she would have been in court for driving with cocaine or its derivative benzoylecgonine instead.
The arrest occurred on September 24 this year after police were alerted to Cork’s car whilst she was driving it through Crewe at 4.50am.
Tanya Berridge-Burley, prosecuting, said: ‘Information had been received that the owner was suspected of driving under the influence of cocaine. The officer activated the emergency lights and caused the vehicle to stop on Alton Street.
‘They spoke to the female driver, the defendant, and explained why they had stopped her. They informed her that they were going to complete a roadside drug wipe but she said to them: ‘There’s no point in doing that, it will definitely fail. I’ve taken cocaine in the evening before.’
‘She explained she was a cocaine addict and had been so for years. She completed a drug wipe which was positive for cocaine. Due to this the defendant was arrested and cautioned and made no significant reply to the caution.
‘The defendant was conveyed to the Cheshire custody facility in Middlewich to complete a blood test procedure which the defendant initially appeared to provide but on seeing the needle the nurse had prepared she began to cry and stated that she did actually have a fear of needles.
‘However, during the ongoing conversation about providing a sample she said she used to have weekly blood tests. So, after some conversation with the healthcare professional, the officer agreed to give the sample another go despite the phobia.
Cork said her phobia of needles arose out of her needing to take weekly blood tests as a child due to a medical condition
‘However, she further declined and as a result was placed in a cell and was further arrested for failing to provide. The defendant had no previous convictions.’
Cork explained how her phobia arose out of her needing to take weekly blood tests as a child due to a medical condition.
‘I could not do the test as I was petrified of needles. When they tried to take my blood my teeth were chattering, I was shaking and I was crying my eyes out.
‘But I said please do it again because I knew this going to look bad on me. I said ‘Please do it, do it again. I know it was wrong.’ I tried to do it again but I was shaking so bad that the nurse refused to take a sample.
‘She said it was unsafe to do so. So, I did not refuse that blood test. I was in a very sticky situation. The nurse refused because she said it was unsafe and it could cause some injury. I was shaking so bad. I have got nerve problems, so I take tablets for it.
‘When I take a blood test my whole body shakes and my teeth chatter.’
She added: ‘I have had an addiction but ever since I got pulled, my addiction has been a hell of a lot better. I got pulled two weeks ago and I have since passed a drug test – so, there is a positive way to look at things. It was bad what happened but it’s a positive thing for me because I have come off drugs.
‘We accept it is unfortunate that there is no expert evidence about your needle phobia,’ Chairwoman Leonie Giles said, ‘But we also accept that you were honest at the time and that you were honest about saying you were addressing the situation with your cocaine addiction, that is promising news. We would like to wish you well in continuing to address the issues.’