Ipswich drink-driver took car without permission shortly after coming out of prison, court told

Drink-driver spared another jail term

Drink-driver spared another jail term - Credit: Archant

A drink-driver who got behind the wheel of a car he took without permission shortly after coming out of prison has been spared jail.

Simon Peck, of Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, was the first person to be convicted of drink-driving during the Star’s name and shame campaign this Christmas.

Peck was given a belated birthday present when Ipswich magistrates said they were prepared to give him one last chance instead of sending him back to prison the day after he turned 29.

Peck pleaded guilty to drink-driving, taking a vehicle without consent, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and having no driving insurance.

All the offences occurred on December 5.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said Peck had gone out with a female friend who drove them to Austin Street in Ipswich.

The court was told having parked her Ford Fiesta and left the keys with her former partner who lived in Austin Street, she and Peck went drinking in town.

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When the woman returned to her car she could not remember if she had the keys.

However, by that time Peck had been arrested by police.

He had gone to the car unlocked it, reversed at speed crashing into a parked vehicle, Ms Small said.

Police were called shortly after 12.30am.

They saw the car parked diagonally with the pavement with Peck walking towards Wherstead Road.

He denied he had been driving, but the car keys were found on him when he was searched.

A subsequent breath test showed he had 70 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Peck’s solicitor Paul Donegan acknowledged his client had a “bad” record, but said until this case there were no driving offences on it.

Magistrates were told Peck had been jailed for 26 weeks in August for dishonesty matters and had only been released in November.

Mr Donegan said his client wanted to turn over a new leaf and a suspended sentence with conditions attached would be more onerous for him than a jail term which he would find easier to cope with.

Peck also admitted a further offence of theft of meat and wine valued at £92.91 from Austin Street Co-op on August 13.

Sentencing Peck to a 12-week prison term, suspended for 18 months, Chairman of the Bench Bob Skinner told him: “This is very much the last chance saloon for you – understood?

“You are a habitual offender. You do go on sprees. You committed these offences shortly very shortly after coming out of prison.”

Peck was also disqualified from driving for 22 months and must undertake alcohol treatment and thinking skills programmes.

He was also order to pay £92.91 compensation to the Co-op and fines and costs of £165.