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Ipswich: Drink-driver Edward Van Bishop banned after mobility scooter jaunt during third excess alcohol offence

10:00 03 June 2014

Mobility scooter driver Edward Van Bishop leaving South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

Mobility scooter driver Edward Van Bishop leaving South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A three-time drink-driver has been spared prison after police saw him on a drunken early morning jaunt in a mobility scooter.

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Able-bodied Edward Van Bishop, of Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, was disqualified from driving for three years after being more than twice the limit during his third offence in five years.

At the time Bishop was still disqualified from driving from a previous sentence he received at Ipswich Crown Court in 2012.

The 23-year-old’s solicitor, Mark Holt, told South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court: “Fundamentally he would say it was a stupid, foolish prank.”

Previously in mitigation Mr Holt said: “It was a mobility scooter ridden on the pathway. It seems when police approached Mr Van Bishop it was not (about) the manner of his driving and the safety of other people.

“They suspected it may be stolen. It was not stolen. I think it may have been purchased for his mother.”

The court heard Van Bishop would contend he was messing around with his friends on the path and was unaware he was not allowed to be riding the scooter while drunk.

Van Bishop had been seen riding on the path by a plain clothes detective sergeant in an unmarked police car in Woodbridge Road East at around 2.10am on April 21.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court when Van Bishop was stopped and spoken to he said he just enjoyed riding the scooter, but did not need the use of it.

Subsequently another police sergeant confirmed he had seen Van Bishop 30 minutes earlier driving the mobility scooter in Woodbridge Road.

After being arrested Van Bishop was given a breath test. It showed he had 79 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

The court heard Van Bishop had previous drink-driving convictions in 2009 and 2012. However, due to the nature of the vehicle he was riding during his latest offence he could not be charged with driving while disqualified.

Sentencing Van Bishop, District Judge Celia Dawson said: “Mobility scooters used on the pavement by someone who has got a high alcohol reading are dangerous to the public. It puts the person who has got the mobility scooter in very close proximity to pedestrians.”

Van Bishop – who had pleaded guilty to drink-driving at an earlier hearing – was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

He must also pay £85 costs and £80 to the victims’ fund.

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9 comments

  • Seems this twerp has had alcohol problems since he was old enough to drink, at only 23 and convictions since 2009.

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    Lakota S

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Yes we had fun when we were younger but without endangering others or breaking the law..... Unfortunately drink often plays a big part in incidents like yours, some just don't know when enough is enough and just see it as a joke. Oh and you give yourself enough publicity when you plaster it all over Facebook on a public setting so I don't think these comments make any difference!

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    StarReader

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • You are incorrect, Esco Fiasco. This man is very stupid.

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    Robert Oakhill

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Unsurprisingly for the Star the Clarkson "N" word story has no comment option, so here we go... For a race so averse to this word it's surprising how often their youngsters like to remind themselves of it in their rap "music".

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • The guy is obviously a bit stupid.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • Big Spot Tuesday, June 3, 2014 like this was p*ss take thedj101 get a life StarReader Tuesday, June 3, 2014 no fun wen was young ! thanks for publistery though :)

    Report this comment

    Edward Van-bishop

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • @bigspot: "at 79mg out of 100ml he wasn't really drunk...." That's more that twice the legal limit...... Also, I don't agree with cyclist riding on footpaths but when there are so many inconsiderate drivers on the roads I don't blame them....

    Report this comment

    StarReader

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • the law is the law

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    thedj101

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • This once again sounds like an unnecessary waste of court time or a witch hunt by the police. Yes, it was probably right to check that the scooter wasn't stolen but to then follow up with a prosecution because " Mobility scooters used on the pavement by someone who has got a high alcohol reading are dangerous to the public" at 2.00am !!!! is another waste of public money. At 79mg out of 100ml he wasn't really drunk, probably just had a few drinks. If the police are looking to make our pavements safer what about stopping all the cyclists who speed on our pavements as if it's their right during the daytime when pedestrians are actually up and about and also using them. Cyclists go much faster and are more dangerous than any mobility scooter.

    Report this comment

    Big Spot

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

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