Drink drive mum loses children

ON the day The Evening Star launches its annual anti-drink driving campaign an alcoholic mum is facing up to life without her children today after crashing with them in her car.

ON the day The Evening Star launches its annual anti-drink driving campaign an alcoholic mum is facing up to life without her children today after crashing with them in her car.

Alcoholic Caroline Fletcher was more than four and-a-half times the legal alcohol limit when her Seat Toledo veered across both carriageways before ploughing into a parked lorry on October 10 on the Stowmarket-bound carriageway at Nacton.

The 29-year-old's three frightened children were in the back of the car and suffered minor injuries from the seatbelts during the A14 crash, Ipswich magistrates heard.

Today Fletcher spoke of the pain of losing her children and her fear that she will be jailed.


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Social services have taken away the children - Rhiannon, eight, Kieran, five, and Deacan , four - and sent them to live with her mum.

“I know they are with my mum and they are in safe hands but that doesn't stop me missing them every day,” she said.

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“I have been told I am not allowed to see them and that really hurts. I just want to be with them.”

She had been expecting to be jailed by the magistrates and now faces an agonising wait to for her sentence at crown court.

“I feel terrible about what I did - deeply sorry,” she said.

“Now I could lose everything. I have lost my children and if I am jailed I will lose my house because I will be away too long.

“I could be jailed for two years. I was expecting the magistrates to send me to prison and was packed ready. I would rather they had sentenced me instead of having to wait.”

Fletcher said she had been suffering from depression and had been receiving help for her drinking problem. The worst of her problems were now behind her and she was trying to rebuild her life.

The court was told that despite the accident taking place at 12.45pm and the high level of alcohol in her blood, Fletcher, of Grange Road, Felixstowe, claimed she had not been drinking since binging the previous evening.

Fletcher had 162 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

She pleaded guilty to drink-driving and dangerous driving. Her case was been deemed so serious she will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said the community where Fletcher lives had rejected her after reports of the accident surfaced.

He said she was a single mother who was struggling to cope.

“Her five-year-old has behavioural problems and she has found it difficult to cope,” he said. “She has buried her head in the sand.

“Since the incident, her children have been taken away. The whole event has allowed her to take a break from her children and try to address the binge-drinking problem. Indirectly, it may be a positive thing that comes out of this.”

Magistrates told Fletcher her dangerous driving, high reading of excess alcohol and the injuries sustained to her children meant their sentencing powers - limited to six months in prison - were insufficient.

She was granted unconditional bail and has already been banned from driving.

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