Ipswich: Injured man’s wife calls for tougher sentences

A PUB landlord’s wife today called for tougher sentences for drink drivers after her husband was seriously injured in an accident.

Shaun De Silva suffered a broken leg, thumb and serious whiplash after he was knocked over in St Matthews Street on April 1, as he walked to get the Sunday papers.

Two vehicles crashed close to the junction with Barrack Lane, causing one car to collide with the 51-year-old landlord of the Brewers Arms in nearby Orford Street.

Adam Rembelski, of Norwich Road, Ipswich, was arrested at the scene for a drink-driving offence.

Appearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday Rembelski pleaded guilty to the drink-drive charge.

Lorraine De Silva, of Orford Street, said: “The punishment should fit the crime. If you are going to drink and get behind the wheel of a car you could kill someone. Sentences are not tough enough.”

A Suffolk police spokesman said officers are still investigating the crash. He said: “Rembelski was not responsible for the accident. He had been drinking and driving but the vehicle he collided with was understood to be making an illegal turn at the time.”

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Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, told the court Rembelski, 26, had been driving a BMW on April 1 when he was involved in an accident.

When he was taken to Martlesham police investigation centre a breath test showed he had 87microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Rembelski, a Polish national, who listened to the court proceedings through an interpreter, represented himself during the hearing.

When District Judge Celia Dawson asked if he had anything to say in mitigation, Rembelski replied in English: “I had a couple of beers. I didn’t feel drunk. That’s why I was driving. I didn’t think I was over the limit.”

Rembelski was disqualified from driving for 22 months, although he indicated he would undertake a driver rehabilitation course which would reduce his ban to 17 months. The factory worker was also fined �135 and ordered to pay �85 costs and a �15 government surcharge.

n Are sentences tough enough? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk