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Alcoholic's girl prays for her to stop

PUBLISHED: 09:41 13 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

THE 11-year-old daughter of a drink driving mum who crashed her car on the A14 during a school run made a heart-rending plea to magistrates for her mother to give up the booze.

THE 11-year-old daughter of a drink driving mum who crashed her car on the A14 during a school run made a heart-rending plea to magistrates for her mother to give up the booze.

Emma Crawley's daughter wrote a letter to South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich which said: "I feel my heart is breaking. I pray every night for you to stop."

The jilted mother-of-four, who escaped a custodial sentence, admitted drink driving.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said: "She was driving her children back to school and lost control of her vehicle. There were no other vehicles involved.

"She was driving her two children and for no apparent reason she drove off the road."

All were injured and were taken to hospital where a urine sample showed 256 mg of alcohol in urine. The legal limit is 107 mg.

Her solicitor, David Coe, mitigating, told the court Crawley – who attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings – has a long-term problem with drink which started ten years ago.

"She stopped drinking and wasn't cured, you are never cured. She didn't drink for eight years and then her husband ran of with a neighbour and she got derailed."

The 39-year-old, of Church Farm, Snailwell, Cambridgeshire, has a previous conviction where she was banned from driving for three years.

She is now taking part in a 12-step programme and has been off the drink for nearly three months.

Her friend described Crawley as a bubbly and healthy person who had a strong personality who is now trying to get her life back on track after all she has been through.

Another friend, a 55 year old aromatherapist, told how she was working hard to recover from her drink problem.

In sentencing Crawley for the incident on the A14, which happened in September, the magistrates said: "The worst thing we read is a letter from your daughter…it speaks for yourself doesn't it."

She was sentenced to a two-year rehabilitation order and a five year driving ban. Crawley was also ordered to pay £55 costs.

Meanwhile another disgraced driver has been banned for 30 months after being drunk at the wheel.

Brian Aburrow was caught driving through Ipswich town centre.

South East Suffolk Magistrates in Ipswich were told Aburrow, of Gippeswyk Avenue, Ipswich, was three times over the legal drink drive limit when he was stopped by police in Princes Street.

A breath test revealed the 23-year-old had 115 mcg in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Ian Devine, defending, told the court: "Aburrow took the decision to drive on the night in question and is paying a heavy price as result."

The heavy price also included 80 hours community punishment order and Aburrow was also ordered to pay £55 prosecution costs.

Another drink driver to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court was Denis Prendergast, 43, of Cavendish Street, Ipswich.

The court heard that he was stopped by police in Elmhurst Drive at around midnight on January 8 after reports that a vehicle was driving suspiciously.

A breath test at the scene revealed a level of 67 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 35mcg.

Prendergast pleaded guilty to drink driving and guilty to having no MOT.

Magistrates banned him from driving for 18 months, he was fined £250 and must pay £30 costs.

Trial dates have been fixed for Ipswich residents Christopher Finnerhan, 41, who pleaded not guilty to drink driving and Antonia Rupiya, of Wherstead Road, who admitted the offence.

Rupiya, 26, is calling for special reasons to be taken into account to prevent her disqualification.

Her trial date was fixed for March 20, with a pre-trial review date listed for February 20.

The trial for Finnerhan, who lives in Cardigan Street, was fixed for April 19 at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

N The Evening Star's name and shame drink campaign will continue until the end of January.

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