Jail for five-time drink-driver who crashed his mother’s car into hedge
A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.
Christopher Pitt was still seeing out two suspended prison terms when he called police from behind the wheel of his mum’s damaged Peugeot 206, blocking the B1456 in Shotley, at 11.45pm on January 18.
The 30-year-old Halfords supervisor told police he was banned from driving and had no insurance, but refused to take a breath test when requested.
South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard that Pitt had received suspended sentences for driving while disqualified last August and excess alcohol a month before – one of five drink-driving offences on his record of 16 convictions, which included aggravated vehicle taking, drug-driving and two counts of driving while banned.
Prosecutor Colette Harper said Pitt visited his mother’s nearby Shotley address and drove her car away without permission.
While in custody, police observed Pitt “unsteady on his feet and slurring his speech”, she added.
Jeremy Kendall, representing the divorced father-of-two, told magistrates: “He had rebuilt his life around the twin pillars of work and a commitment to his children.
“He knows he put his liberty at risk, but I would urge you not to send him to prison.
“He went to his mum’s for dinner, cycled home and then cycled back, and for some unknown reason, decided to take her car.
“He has issues with mental health and sometimes pushes the self-destruct button.
“He did something completely irrational, but reported himself to police and took full responsibility for his actions.
“He didn’t see any reason to provide a specimen. He had some drink, but we don’t if he was over the limit.
“Going to prison would be disastrous. He would clearly lose his job, but perhaps more importantly, it would have an effect on his family contact.”
Pitt admitted aggravated vehicle taking, failure to provide a specimen, and driving while disqualified and uninsured.
Magistrates chose to activate eight weeks of both suspended sentences, impose another eight for aggravated vehicle taking and 12 weeks for driving while banned.
He was also disqualified from driving for another four years.
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