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Drink drive horror lives on

PUBLISHED: 17:41 09 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:09 03 March 2010

MICHELLE Tasker still jumps at the sound of cars whizzing by as she walks her daughter to the shops.

A simple trip out has been turned into a nightmare after her daughter Joveldene's pushchair was struck by a drunk driver earlier this year.

MICHELLE Tasker still jumps at the sound of cars whizzing by as she walks her daughter to the shops.

A simple trip out has been turned into a nightmare after her daughter Joveldene's pushchair was struck by a drunk driver earlier this year.

After the accident in March, Mrs Tasker, who was knocked over, said doctors told her if it had not been for the type of pushchair – equipped with several safety straps - her baby would not have survived.

Anthony Barrett, 25, was jailed for four months for his crime on Friday, but Mrs Tasker said: "No sentence can ever take away what happened and my child could have been killed.

"I just hope it will stop him from doing it again and deter others from drink driving."

She backed The Evening Star's anti-drink driving campaign to name and shame boozed-up motorists who put lives at risk.

She is still emotionally scarred, and said: "Now if I go to the shops and a car comes quickly from behind I stop and shudder, and will do for a long time to come," she said.

Barrett, of Halton Crescent, Ipswich, was one-and-a-half times over the limit when he tried to overtake a car in Hatfield Road, Ipswich.

His Fiesta clipped the side of the car, skidded from side to side and spun 180 degrees in the road.

Barrett smashed into a brick wall, collided with another car and struck Mrs Tasker wheeling her ten-week-old baby in a pram.

Peter Gair, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said: "Mrs Tasker was struck and knocked into the air. She briefly lost consciousness."

The court heard that the victim suffered cuts and bruises. Her baby escaped unharmed.

Blood tests revealed that Barrett had 125 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

Barrett, who has previous convictions for violence and causing criminal damage, initially denied dangerous driving but later admitted the offence and pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

The court heard that Barrett was the sole carer of his disabled mother who suffered from Hodgkin's Disease and arthritis.

Mrs Barrett, who wept in court as the sentence was passed, said she had put her son under a "great deal of stress" and drinking alcohol was his only release.

The court heard that Barrett was genuinely sorry for what he had done.

Judge John Holt said: "The aggravating features of your driving includes the consumption of alcohol and the location of your dangerous driving in a relatively narrow residential street at 4pm when pedestrians could have been expected to be about and one was.

"You overtook a car and spun out of control and put a pedestrian and baby at serious risk of serious injury."

Barrett was sent to prison for four months and given a two-year driving ban.

His driver's licence was endorsed and he will have to take an extended test before driving again.

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