A driver who told police he swerved his car to avoid an octopus had taken a cocktail of drugs, it was heard in court.
Robert Shapley told police he’d seen various sea creatures on the road, before pretending to read an imaginary book about hedgehogs.
The 49-year-old appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs.
Police who attended the incident, which saw Sharley’s car overturned, say he was incoherent and mumbled to them about whitebait, octopus and other sea creatures being on the road.
Not long after the crash, someone put a cardboard cutout of an octopus on a stick in a field next to where the incident took place, prompting some people to believe Shapley may have been telling the truth.
However, the court heard Shapley, from Salcombe in Devon, was actually high on drugs at the time of the crash.
The Mirror reports he told officers:
It got a bit bumpy for a while. I swerved to avoid an octopus. It is pretty bad out there having to dodge all that whitebait.
Officers told the court they found no evidence of an octopus on the road.
Prosecutor Philip Sewell told the court how the crash happened at a junction shortly after Shapley overtook another car. His car was found on its roof in a ditch on the A381 between Malborough and South Milton.
As reported by The Mirror, Sewell told the court:
He was stumbling around, he wasn’t coherent.
Police were called to the scene at around 515pm, where they put Shapley in one of their cars before beingn checked over by paramedics.
He continued to talk to the officers, he was talking about squid, octopus and other sea creatures.
Tests showed morphine, codeine, cannabis and a by-product of heroin in Shapley’s system.
Simon Colman defending said Shapley took the prescription drugs as a result of his depression and anxiety, and didn’t remember anything prior to driving.
The case has been adjourned for a report to be prepared about whether he was suitable for a drug rehabilitation requirement.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.