MAGISTRATES blasted a law firm that badly let down a Hungarian woman accused of drink driving.

They heard Edina Perleczki had hired National Motoring Lawyers ahead of her appearance before Swindon magistrates yesterday.

The 33-year-old, formerly of Twatley, near Malmesbury, had intended to plead not guilty, but changed her mind after speaking to a Swindon solicitor yesterday morning.

Richard Williams, who had been hired as agent by the firm, said his client had “never had a full conference face to face with a lawyer from that organisation."

He said he had spoken to Perleczki about her case, after which she decided she didn’t have a defence.

Mr Williams added: “I don’t find it easy to criticise other professionals, but I do feel to some extent she’s been let down by this other firm, particularly as she’s paid a large sum to them.”

Perleczki, who now lives in Ormskirk, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to driving while three times over the alcohol limit.

Prosecuting, Pauline Lambert said police had stopped Perleczki on the Hammonds, Cricklade, in the early hours of April 1. She driving very slowly down the road, with her headlights off, Ms Lambert said.

Perleczki is said to have told police officers she had drunk just one wine. Analysis showed she had 106 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Mr Williams said his client was of good character and had not intended to drive that evening. After a leaving party she had intended to stay locally with friends. However, an argument between her hosts meant that she was unable to spend the night there.

She had got behind the wheel to move her car a short distance down the road before sleeping off the effects of the alcohol.

“She has taken the courageous decision to plead guilty and accept the consequences,” he said.

The court heard yesterday that Perleczki had driven herself from her current home in Lancashire to Swindon, not realising that she could lose her licence.

Handing her a 24-month driving ban, magistrates told her that she needed to get a friend to move the car from outside the court. Dr David Whetham, chairman of the bench, said National Motoring Lawyers should be the ones paying for her car to be moved back to Lancashire. “From the bench’s perspective you have been badly let down by the legal firm,” he said.

Perleczki was ordered to pay a £350 fine, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £35.