Ipswich: Drink-driver used van to charge phone

IPSWICH: A painter and decorator was today starting a road ban after using his van to charge his mobile phone while over the drink-drive limit.

David Coyle had returned to his partner’s house in Woodville Road, Ipswich, after a night out drinking.

But after failing to wake her and realising his mobile battery had run out, he got into his van to re-charge it.

Shortly afterwards, at around 1.20am on November 29, police were called to reports that the van was moving backwards and forwards.

When an officer arrived, he saw the vehicle roll forward about a metre before stalling.

Coyle, of Woodville Road, was found to have 80microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

The 44-year-old, who has also worked as a doorman for 27 years, pleaded guilty to drink-driving and resisting a police officer in the execution of his duty when he appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

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Representing himself, he said he hadn’t been able to wake his partner by knocking on her door because she was a heavy sleeper.

He said: “I had no phone because my battery was dead, so I went to the van to charge it. I was freezing so I ran the engine to keep warm.”

Coyle handed a letter to District Judge David Cooper which told how a road ban would prevent him from visiting his children as often as he would like.

He has two in the Isle of Man and two in Manchester.

He added: “I love my children with all my heart.”

Impressed by the letter, Judge Cooper said: “It is very, very sweetly done.

“You only moved a short distance, but I can’t ignore the potential danger to pedestrians who may have been around at the time. It was also a very high reading.”

Judge Cooper said the sentencing guidelines for this offence was 22 months’ disqualification. But he instead gave him a three-month ban, a �100 fine, �80 costs and a �15 victim surcharge.

n Has your life been affected by drink-driving? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or you can send an e-mail to starnews@eveningstar.co.uk