DOMESTIC abuse led to a high flying solicitor getting a criminal conviction, York Magistrates' Court heard.

Helen Elizabeth Brunton, 46, was nearly three times the drink drive limit when she crashed into another car at a roundabout at midday on February 18, said Katy Vowles, prosecuting.

“The defendant came straight over the roundabout, the vehicle was out of control as it went over some bollards, completely covering them,” she said.

She hit a car waiting to go onto the roundabout which couldn’t reverse because another car was behind it.

Brunton told the court she had stopped drinking the evening before the crash and hadn’t drunk since.

“This is a very sad case,” said district judge Adrian Lower.

“You have suffered at the hands of your husband over quite some period of time and sadly, as so many victims of domestic abuse do, you were willing to put up with it for far too long.

“You chose to cope …. by drinking so much to the point where you were drinking too much.”

Brunton, of Uppleby, Easingwold, pleaded guilty to drink driving.

She was given an 18-month community order with 30 days’ rehabilitative activities and 120 hours’ unpaid work and was disqualified for 28 months.

Brunton was also ordered to pay a £95 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

She told the court she lived on benefits, and was looking for work.

She had not worked since June 2020.

Brunton had left the marital home and was trying to divorce her husband, the court heard.

She said she had also had help from IDAS, Yorkshire’s biggest domestic abuse charity, and had sought help from mental health organisations without success.

“I am sort of left being my own mental health practitioner,” she said, adding she could ring her GP when she needed to.

Brunton has held a series of senior positions in solicitors’ firms in the past.

She is currently not working as a solicitor.