Drink driver banned for years

HE has a “clear disregard” for the safety of others.Repeat drink-drive offender Victor Coelho, of Gaye Street, Ipswich, is today starting a lengthy ban from the roads after narrowly avoiding a prison term.

HE has a “clear disregard” for the safety of others.

Repeat drink-drive offender Victor Coelho, of Gaye Street, Ipswich, is today starting a lengthy ban from the roads after narrowly avoiding a prison term.

In his latest offence, the 33-year-old was already disqualified from driving and was more than three times the legal limit when he was stopped in Sir Alf Ramsey Way, Ipswich, on December 12.

Coelho pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving while disqualified and driving with no insurance at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court last month after he was found to have 107mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

At his sentencing hearing yesterday, the court heard that the father-of-three was previously convicted of drink-driving in 1999 and also committed two offences of failing to provide a breath test specimen.

Joan Overett, chairman of the magistrates, said: “Your offences are so serious and your record of alcohol-related offences is not good.

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“The reading on this last occasion was high and you have a clear disregard for the safety of the public.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Coelho asked the magistrates not to send him to prison because his wife was ill and he has three children.

Coelho was given a 12-week prison sentence which was suspended for 12 months.

During this time, he must complete 200 hours of unpaid work under the supervision of the probation service.

The factory worker was disqualified from driving for four years and was told he would not be offered the drink-drivers' rehabilitation course, which can reduce the ban.

He must also pay �65 in court costs.

Should repeat offenders be given stiffer penalties? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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