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Drink-drive church organist escapes jail

PUBLISHED: 16:01 16 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

A DEPRESSED Woodbridge church organist who drunkenly drove a short distance to get groceries has escaped a prison sentence.

Formerly respectable Robert Eagle, of Girton Close, is in disgrace after he was caught motoring while more than three times over the legal drink drive limit.

A DEPRESSED Woodbridge church organist who drunkenly drove a short distance to get groceries has escaped a prison sentence.

Formerly respectable Robert Eagle, of Girton Close, is in disgrace after he was caught motoring while more than three times over the legal drink drive limit.

Eagle was given an 18 month rehabilitation order and three year driving ban after admitting taking to the wheel after boozing.

He was one of three people named and shamed by The Evening Star for putting lives at risk by drink- driving.

David Taylor for the Crown Prosecution Service said that he was stopped on a routine police check late morning and was found with 132 mcg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Tim Ridyard, mitigating, said Eagle, 55, a church organist: "Had contributed a great deal to the community."

Eagle had been drinking whisky the night before, needed to go to the shops a few hundred metres away from his home. But instead of walking decided to take the car.

The court heard that the father of two was suffering from depression after the breakdown of his marriage. Magistrates also ordered him to pay £55 costs.

Also narrowly escaping a prison sentence was Lithuanian, Povilas Vilkuotis, who drove to see his girlfriend who was in distress after her mother had recently died.

The court heard the 34-year-old, of Jermyns Road, Reydon, had been drinking when his girlfriend telephoned him and pleaded with him come home.

"He came back with his friend and then stopped in Ipswich to get something to eat," said Tim Ridyard, mitigating. "One the way back he lost his way and was unsure where he was."

The student was found with 117 mcg alcohol in 100 ml of breath. He also admitted driving his car without a driving licence.

He was given 180 hour community punishment order and banned from driving for 30 months, which will be reduced by seven months if he completes a drivers rehabilitation course.

Vilkuotis was also ordered to pay £55 costs.

Also sentenced was Henry Moore whose proud day turned into a nightmare after he was caught drink- driving on provisional licence unsupervised and without learner plates.

Moore, 61, of Admirals Walk, Woodbridge, was stopped on the A14 at Wickham Market on the way back from receiving a prestigious award in Lowestoft for his work.

"It was his intention to go by train as he normally does," said Hugh Rowland, mitigating. "That day his wife was ill which caused disruption to his plans."

He was found with 93 mcg alcohol in 100 ml of breath.

Moore, who admitted drink-driving, was banned from driving for two years and given an 80 hour community service order.

He was also fined £300 for not having insurance and a further £125 for driving not in accordance with a driving licence, both to which he pleaded guilty. On top of this Magistrates ordered him to pay £55 costs.

Meanwhile, Michael Giles, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, appeared in court charged with drink-driving.

The 41-year-old was granted unconditional bail and will reappear before magistrates on February 19.

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