Ipswich: Drink-driver who crashed car into wall is banned and fined

IPSWICH: A pub worker who admitted drinking up to five pints and shot of whisky before smashing his car into a garden wall is today having to pay up more than �1,300.

Magistrates in Ipswich heard that Thomas Buckley, of Nacton, got behind the wheel of his Ford Mondeo in the early hours of May 3 after a night out drinking.

He had returned home, leaving his brothers out drinking but when they called for a lift, he obliged.

The 25-year-old pub worker, who had previously been banned from the roads after being caught drink-driving, crashed en route, smashing into a garden wall in Felixstowe Road and rolling his car on to its roof.

Prosecutor Emma Howson told the bench at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court that police arrived at the crash scene to find fire crews rescuing Buckley from his overturned car.

“When they spoke to him it was clear he was unsteady on his feet and he told them his brother was in the road and he had swerved to avoid him.”

Buckley confessed to being over the drink-drive limit and a roadside breath test confirmed this. He had 59mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath.

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When he appeared at court yesterday, Buckley pleaded guilty to driving while over the drink-drive limit, as well as driving without insurance, driving without a licence and driving without due care and attention.

In mitigation, his solicitor Ita Farrelly said he had drunk four or five pints plus a Jack Daniels and Coke during the evening.

She added: “He is unsure whether he has a (drink) problem, with certain groups of friends he doesn’t even think about having a drink but on this night there was no part of his brain that stopped him getting into that vehicle, despite what happened in 2008.”

Chairman of the Bench Anne Walker banned Buckley from the roads for three years for the alcohol charge. She then accused him of giving “conflicting evidence” about his income before ordering him to pay fines totally �670. he was ordered to pay compensation to homeowner George Irvine of �600 for the damage to his wall and garden plus �100 in costs and victim surcharges.

n Do you think the punishment fits the crime? 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.