A council drug and alcohol addiction counsellor downed prosecco and took cocaine at a barbeque before getting behind the wheel and assaulting a concerned homeowner, a court heard.
Alana Fitzmaurice had drank prosecco and taken the Class A drug at a boozy barbecue when she got behind the wheel of her car, a court was told.
The 41-year-old, whose job it is to help others overcome drink and drug addiction, randomly stopped her car across the driveway of a stranger’s house in Bournemouth, Dorset.
Homeowner Andrianna Kortisas realised the state Fitzmaurice was in and tried to take her car keys off her, a court heard.
But Fitzmaurice grabbed her hair and pulled as hard as she could while shouting that she was a ‘skank’.
Alana Fitzmaurice, 41, whose job it is to help others overcome drink and drug addiction, randomly stopped her car across the driveway of a stranger’s house in Bournemouth, Dorset
The incident took place outside a property on Goldenleas Drive in Bournemouth
Appearing at Poole Magistrates’ Court, she pleaded guilty to assault, being drunk and disorderly in a public place, failing to provide a specimen and possession of a Class A drug.
The court was told that Ms Kortisas’ neighbour called the police on Fitzmaurice, who could be heard ‘shouting and screaming’ in the background on the 999 call.
Officers rushed to the scene, where Fitzmaurice carried on shouting obscenities at them and then refused to provide a breath test, so she was arrested.
Police searched her vehicle and found a partially consumed bottle of prosecco and a small bag of white powder identified as cocaine.
Magistrates heard that Fitzmaurice had worked as a counsellor for the last decade – including the last 18 months – at We Are With You, a BCP Council commissioned support service for those battling addictions.
The incident took place outside a property on Goldenleas Drive in Bournemouth on the evening of August 26.
Alana Fitzmaurice (pictured at Poole Magistrates’ Court) had drank prosecco and taken the Class A drug at a boozy barbecue when she got behind the wheel of her car, a court was told
Natalie Angel, prosecuting, said: ‘Police were informed by local residents that a female unknown to them had left her vehicle parked across the driveway.
‘The residents stopped her getting into the vehicle as they were concerned she was driving with excess alcohol.
‘She forcefully assaulted the victim by pulling her hair and the defendant’s shouting and screaming could be heard in the background of the 999 call.
‘She continued to scream and shout obscenities to the police officers and a partially consumed bottle of prosecco and a small bag of white powder identified as cocaine was found in her car.’
Eva Russell, mitigating, said Fitzmaurice was ‘devastated’ by her actions and that the night in question was ‘one of the most shameful’ of her life.
She explained that her client had battled addictions since she was 14 and decided to become a counsellor due to her ‘first hand’ experience of alcohol and drug abuse.
She said Fitzmaurice had been clean for 12 years and had helped hundreds of people before suffering a relapse.
Ms Fitzmaurice pleaded guilty to assault at Poole Magistrates Court (pictured)
The cocaine use, she told the court, was a ‘one-off’ as Fitzmaurice thought the drug would help her lose weight.
Ms Russell said: ‘With her background and her struggles with alcohol she decided to give something back to the community so for the past 10 years she has worked closely with addiction agencies as a counsellor, helping hundreds of people with their addictions.
‘She can’t forgive herself for what happened but she has done everything in her power since the incident to address it.’
Ms Russell read out part of a letter from the defendant to the court, who said the incident was ‘the most shameful of my life’.
It read: ‘I have battled with my addictions since I was 14, ranging from eating disorders to alcohol and drugs.
‘I’ve had long periods of abstinence and I always get up and keep fighting them.’
Fitzmaurice, of Carlton Road, Bournemouth, was given a 12 month community order, disqualified from driving from 45 months and ordered to pay £519 in fines, compensation and costs.
A BCP Council said on behalf of We are With You: ‘We take matters like these very seriously, and in such situations, follow our own internal processes.’