AddThis SmartLayers

Daily journalist banned from driving after admitting cocaine use

Amy FentonA regional daily journalist has been banned from driving after admitting being under the influence of cocaine behind the wheel.

Amy Fenton, pictured, chief reporter at South Cumbria daily The Mail, admitted drug driving and possession of cocaine before Workington magistrates this morning.

According to the Mail, The 35-year-old, of Broughton Road, Dalton, was tearful as the court heard how she had been pulled over by police while travelling on the M6 northbound, near to Junction 36.

A roadside drugs wipe found her to be over the legal drug-drive limit, and three wraps of cocaine were found in the passenger footwell.

A subsequent blood test found her to have 13ugl of cocaine. The legal limit is 10ugl.

A charge of driving while under the influence of benzoylecgonine was dropped.

Charged under her married name of Amy Robertson, she was given a 12-month driving ban, fined £323 for the drug driving offence, and a further £50 for the possession charge.

She was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

She has until 1 October to pay the full balance.

HTFP reported in May that Amy was forced to flee her home on police advice last month after “increasing levels of abuse, intimidation and threats” were issued against her and other colleagues at The Mail, prompting an investigation by detectives.

Discussing that investigation, a Cumbria Police spokesman said last week: “A 50-year-old man from Barrow was arrested last week (15 July) on suspicion of malicious communications offences and a racially aggravated public order offence.

“He has been bailed with conditions including not to contact any of the victims or witnesses in relation to the ongoing investigation.”

In a separate incident in February, a man previously convicted of threatening to blow up a hospital was jailed for 20 weeks after issuing a rape threat against Amy, who had previously covered his case.

She had also recently been invited by culture minister John Whittingdale to address a new National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, which has been set up to look at protection of journalists in the UK.