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Crushed girl - businessman back in court

PUBLISHED: 14:19 11 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE businessman Peter Whalley was more than twice the drink-drive limit when his car ploughed into a teenage girl, pinning her against a wall, a court heard.

FELIXSTOWE businessman Peter Whalley was more than twice the drink-drive limit when his car ploughed into a teenage girl, pinning her against a wall, a court heard.

Sixteen-year-old Vicky Kelcher was walking home with her boyfriend, Ty Freer, along Garrison Lane, Felixstowe, when Peter Whalley's X-registration Mercedes suddenly left the road and struck them, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

As reported in later editions of yesterday's Evening Star, Peter Fenn, prosecuting, said Mr Freer had been hit by the car and thrown clear, but Vicky, of Chaucer Road, Felixstowe, had been crushed against a wall and suffered serious injuries.

Whalley was arrested shortly afterwards and taken to a police station, where he refused to give a breath sample.

He agreed to give one when his solicitor arrived and that showed he had 83 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, almost two-and-a half times the legal limit of 35mcgs.

Whalley, who was the owner of Bonds Wine Bar and the Old Millars pub and restaurant in Felixstowe, told police he had been driving up Garrison Lane when he had seen someone crossing the road from the right, causing him to veer to the left.

But Mr Fenn told the court yesterday witnesses had not seen anyone in the road shortly before the accident.

He added the court would be hearing from a professor of toxicology, who has studied the effects of alcohol on a person's ability to drive.

His research had found that even if someone was well-used to drinking, the amount of alcohol consumed by Whalley would seriously impair a person's ability to drive safely.

"Somebody who had drunk that much alcohol would be far more likely to have an accident than someone who is sober," said Mr Fenn.

Whalley, 35, of Princes Gardens, Felixstowe, has denied dangerous driving.

In a statement read to the court, Vicky said she had been walking home with her boyfriend after an evening out in Felixstowe when she had been struck by the car.

Vicky said: "I thought I was going to die. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. The pain was terrible and I was very scared."

She suffered severe injuries to her pelvis and both legs and had a gash to her face. After initially being taken to Ipswich Hospital, she was transferred to a high-dependency unit at the University Hospital, Norwich.

The teenager spent 13 weeks in a frame supporting her pelvis and underwent five operations before being finally released from hospital on March 20.

The trial continues.

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