Motorist Katy Homer spared jail after M5 wrong-way drive
A woman who admitted drunkenly driving the wrong way on a motorway for four miles has been spared jail.
Katy Homer of Clent View Road, Halesowen, in the West Midlands, was stopped by police near junction one of the M5 at West Bromwich.
Cameras showed her driving into the path of lorries on the southbound carriageway on 4 December.
Care assistant Homer was given a four-month jail term, suspended for 12 months, at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
She was also sentenced to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, banned from driving for three years, and ordered to pay £200 costs.
Judge Michael Dudley told her she had committed a "very serious driving offence".
Single mother-of-three Homer had pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and dangerous driving at a previous hearing.
Speaking after sentence outside court, she said she was "sorry" for her actions.
Lorry driver 'scared'
Footage of the incident played to the court showed oncoming lorry drivers flashing their headlights as Homer, who was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit, drove her Vauxhall Astra north along the southbound M5.
Prosecutor Alka Brigue told the court one lorry driver was scared when Homer's car swerved on to the hard shoulder to avoid crashing into him.
She said: "It was his daughter's birthday - he envisaged that somebody would be killed, and that he might never see his wife and daughter again."
The court heard traffic police first tried to stop Homer as she twice went the wrong way at the roundabout at junction one.
They eventually halted her by stepping out into the road and flashing their torches, the court was told.
In mitigation, Malcolm Fowler told the court Homer's friends, family and her GP had said her behaviour was "wholly out-of-character."
He said she had been dealing with a depressive illness that could have been affected by a "disastrous relationship" with a former partner.
Insp Dave Southam, of West Midlands Police, said the incident could have been a lot more serious.
"Thankfully, due to the time of day, the motorway was not as busy as it otherwise might have been and so no significant harm was caused to others," he said.