Britain's finest again. Nobody can tell them anything. All they know is political correctness. Do they even learn first aid any more?

Woman driver dying from a stroke was arrested by traffic police who thought she was drunk

Traffic police arrested a woman for drink driving when she was actually dying from a stroke, an inquest heard today. Julie Hawkins, 55, crashed her car and was tended by another motorist who noticed the side of her face was drooping.

But when police arrived on the scene they arrested her on suspicion of drink driving - even though another driver told them Mrs Hawkins was displaying the classic symptoms of a 'catastrophic' stroke.

The officers breathalysed the mother-of-three because her speech was slurred and she could only give them one-word answers.

The inquest heard mother-of-three Mrs Hawkins collapsed as she was taken from her car in Pontyclun, Wales, on October 14 and died of a stroke less than five hours later. A post mortem examination showed Mrs Hawkins, from nearby Pontypridd, had no alcohol in her blood or urine at the time of the accident, as she drove home for a 50th birthday party.

Driver Jonathan Sharpe told the inquest how he went to help after seeing Mrs Hawkins’ Peugeot 107 swerve into an oncoming car. He said: 'I opened the car door and at first I thought maybe she had too much to drink. 'But then I saw her face was drooping, I think on the left-hand side. 'They were the classic symptoms of a stroke. I would liken it to the advert on TV.'

Mr Sharpe said as soon as police arrived he told them about Mrs Hawkins' symptoms but they went ahead and arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. After Mrs Hawkins collapsed and an ambulance arrived paramedics noticed her lips were purple.

Pc Rhodri Wilson told the inquest Mrs Hawkins gave only single word answers to his questions and he arrested her on suspicion of drink driving. He said her speech was slurred and she replied 'no' when he asked if she had been drinking.

A spokeswoman from South Wales Police said: 'The officers acted in good faith based on the information presented to them in difficult circumstances.' [Rubbish!!]

The Cardiff inquest heard Mrs Hawkins was taking painkillers for headaches in the weeks before the crash. She died at 3.30am on October 15 at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, after a scan revealed a stroke.

Mrs Hawkins is survived by sons Kristian and Nicholas and daughter Laura, all in their twenties.

Pathologist Dr Allen Gibbs told the hearing: 'In my opinion she lost control of the car when she began to have a stroke which later became catastrophic.'

The jury returned a narrative verdict that Mrs Hawkins, of Llanharan, near Pontypridd, South Wales, died of a stroke.


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