Drink drive shame of New Zealand rugby star

A BUDDING New Zealander who had come to Suffolk to play for the town's premier rugby club has admitted driving while more than twice the legal limit after he crashed into and seriously injured a young woman.

P4 lead picture of jefferis+ms hammett-copy has been legaled.

IPSWICH: A budding New Zealander who had come to Suffolk to play for the town's premier rugby club has admitted driving while more than twice the legal limit after he crashed into and seriously injured a young woman.

Laura Hammett, 19, was knocked unconscious and suffered severe injuries including bruising to the brain following a collision with a car outside the Horse and Groom pub in Woodbridge Road on December 19.

Jonathan Jefferis, 24, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to drink driving.


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The court heard that following the incident Jefferis was found to have 83 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

However, Jefferis denied charges of driving without due care and attention and driving without insurance.

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Ms Hammett's father Trevor, landlord of the Horse and Groom, had previously revealed that he feared she would die or be left with permanent brain damage.

The former Holywells High School pupil was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, and later made a full recovery.

The court heard that Jefferis had travelled from the other side of the world to play for Ipswich Rugby Club. But it was said that the club had “washed their hands of him.”

He has been living at the Novotel Hotel, in Grey Friars Road, Ipswich.

His family and friends were in court for the hearing but it was revealed they had to head back to New Zealand the next day.

Jefferis was released on conditional bail to appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on February 10 and was given an interim driving ban.

Last night Dave Broughton, director of rugby at the club, confirmed that Jefferis had come to Ipswich to play for the club.

He said: “If you travel to another country you have to abide by the laws of the land. He has not been to the club since the incident but he is not banned. However, whether he plays or not is a different matter.”

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