Life was going well and I ruined it

FOOLISH Mark Lancaster today told how drink-driving had already wrecked the lives of family loved ones – yet he did not learn. Shopped by hotel staff who reported him for crashing his car into a wall after drinking, his shameful actions could have easily wrought new tragedy.

By Amanda Cresswell

FOOLISH Mark Lancaster today told how drink-driving had already wrecked the lives of family loved ones – yet he did not learn.

Shopped by hotel staff who reported him for crashing his car into a wall after drinking, his shameful actions could have easily wrought new tragedy.

Today he faces jail for a drink-related offence and said: "I deserve it."


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Lancaster, of Park Way, Wickham Market, knows all too well the perils of getting behind the wheel after boozing.

His ex-partner lost three loved ones at the hands of a drink-driver 14 years ago.

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One of the victims was the father of her child, who grew up with the couple during their two-year relationship, but the child never knew its real dad.

Lancaster backed our campaign and the dad of one said: "I am fully against drink driving. I'd say to anyone don't do it.

"I had a girlfriend, lovely home and a nice car. Life was going well and I just ruined it.

"I just thank God I never killed anyone because of my behaviour. I'm glad it got to court and if I go to prison I deserve it. There should be strong penalties for it. I just hope this will prevent others getting behind the wheel after drinking."

Although Lancaster was not charged with drink driving, he admitted in court to boozing before he got behind the wheel.

He appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' court where he pleaded guilty to driving dangerously in Melton on December 1 and failing to provide a breath specimen.

The court heard Lancaster was rumbled after staff at Ufford Park hotel contacted police to report a drunk customer had hit a wall in their car.

Police caught up with Lancaster outside the council offices where he drove off when officers tried to stop him.

The court heard during the drunken ride he veered into oncoming traffic, mounted kerbs narrowly missed a car at a junction, straddled white lines and weaved across the road.

Prosecutor Stephen Colman said Lancaster was only doing 10 mph, his hair-raising journey ending when he hit a tree in the front garden of a house in Hall Farm Road.

The 32-year-old was helped out of the car by police, who couldn't understand what he was saying.

He refused a breath test at Woodbridge police station.

Lancaster, who was unrepresented in court, apologised for his behaviour and said he had been drinking because he argued with his girlfriend who is suffering with cancer and depression.

The case was adjourned until January 3 for pre-sentence reports.

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