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Christmas in jail for drink-drive dad

PUBLISHED: 22:07 19 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

AN IPSWICH father will be behind bars instead of with his children this Christmas after driving while he was banned from the roads for a similar drink-drive offence.

AN IPSWICH father will be behind bars instead of with his children this Christmas after driving while he was banned from the roads for a similar drink-drive offence.

Unemployed forklift truck worker, Mark Crawford, is today starting a five-month jail term after he was caught in the town centre driving while more than twice the legal limit for alcohol.

He was already banned for five years after being convicted of the same offence in August last year.

At South East Suffolk Magistrates Court the 39-year-old pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance or an MoT.

Ian Pells, prosecuting, said: "At 3.45pm at St Margaret's Street he was driving erratically and was therefore stopped."

A breath test by police revealed Crawford, of Willoughby Road, measured 88 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Hugh Rowland, in mitigation, said: "He knows full well he has no significant defence and that the sentence carried today will be one of custody.

"He knows that and he wants you to give him credit for not troubling the court further in these matters, he could have done so and he has chosen not to."

He continued: "He pleads guilty in the knowledge that that means he will miss Christmas with his children and will not see the light of day, as it where, until the New Year."

In sentencing, Michael Osbourne, chairman of the bench, said: "Mr Crawford we have decided that your offending is so serious that only custody is justified."

He continued: "You have previous offences of a similar nature the last being on August 2000. There is no mitigation."

Crawford, who was stopped by police on December 13, was sentenced to five months in custody for driving with excess alcohol and five months for driving while disqualified. The terms will run concurrently. He was also banned from driving for four years.

n The Evening Star Name and Shame Campaign to stop drink-driving is now in its sixth year. We aim to report every person convicted and prosecuted in Ipswich courts for driving with excess alcohol in December and January.


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