Chef let his mark on the road

A CHEF who drove along the A12 on a blown-out tyre while he was drunk is today off the road for three years.Ashley Durrant was caught after police followed a trail of gouge marks in the road to his home in Christchurch Drive, Woodbridge.

A CHEF who drove along the A12 on a blown-out tyre while he was drunk is today off the road for three years.

Ashley Durrant was caught after police followed a trail of gouge marks in the road to his home in Christchurch Drive, Woodbridge.

The 31-year-old admitted dangerous driving and drink driving at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court and yesterday he was disqualified from driving for three years.

The court heard that Durrant, who works at Seckford Hall in Woodbridge, had suffered a blow-out on his Ford Mondeo while driving on the A12 northbound at Martlesham at 11.50pm on August 11. Instead of stopping to fix the problem, he carried on driving on the wheel rim.

Stephen Colman, prosecuting in a previous case, said that having received a report of a car being driven on a wheel rim, two police officers went to the A12 and noticed two white parallel lines four inches apart on the road surface.

They had followed the marks all the way to where the car was parked in Christchurch Drive.

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When the officers spoke to Durrant he said he had been aware the tyre was missing but couldn't change it.

He provided a blood sample and it was found that he had 184mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol.

In a hearing last month, magistrate Edward Draper said that Durrant could have “lost control of the vehicle and killed someone”. Although he had been told he could go straight to prison, magistrates decided to impose a high community penalty order.

Yesterday chairman of the magistrates bench, Bernard Hines, offered him the chance to attend a rehabilitation course for drink drivers and if passed successfully, his disqualification would be reduced by nine months.

He will have to retake his driving test once this period is over.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £60 and given a supervision order for 24 months.

Durrant, who was representing himself, did not offer any mitigation and refused to comment outside the court.

Are drink drivers dealt with firmly enough? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.