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Man admits drink drive rampage

PUBLISHED: 23:28 07 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 March 2010

DRUNKEN driver Jeffrey Arnold who reversed his car into another vehicle before driving at a police officer has narrowly escaped a prison sentence, a court heard.

By Amanda Cresswell

amanda.cresswell@eveningstar.co.uk

DRINK driver Jeffrey Arnold, who reversed his car into another vehicle before driving at a police officer, has narrowly escaped a prison sentence.

The 46-year-old was chased by police through Ipswich town centre before eventually stopping in Paul's Road where he announced his name was that of movie star, John Wayne.

Arnold, who was twice over the drink drive limit, admitted dangerous driving, drink driving, failure to stop after an accident and refusing to stop for a police constable.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, told South East Suffolk magistrates fortunately no one was injured and there were no other vehicles involved. He added Arnold eventually gave himself up.

Magistrates were told Arnold was reversing his car to get out of a layby near a burger van in the Cardinal Park area at 3 am on April 14 when he hit the vehicle behind him.

A police officer spotted Arnold driving off and stepped into the road to try and stop him. But Arnold, of Russell Road, Felixstowe, drove straight at the officer, causing him to step aside.

The officer called for back up and police chase followed. Arnold drove through a red traffic light and at one point reached speeds of up to 70 mph in a 30 mph limit.

"He came to a halt and as a gesture of defiance gave his name as John Wayne," said Davies.

Arnold was taken to the police station where he co-operated with police and a breath test showed he had 65 mcg in 100 ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcg.

Neil Saunders, mitigating, said: "The whole thing follows from the Mercedes reversing to get out of the space and hitting the Volvo...then panic set in."

Sentencing, Patrick Oudkerk, chairman of the bench, told him: "You were close to going to prison for these matters."

Arnold was given a 12-month driving ban for dangerous driving and was told to take an extended re-test.

For drink driving he was banned from driving for 16 months to run concurrently. This will be reduced to 12 months if he successfully completes a driver's rehabilitation course.

In addition he was ordered to carry out 180 hours work in the community for both offences to run concurrently.

No penalties were given for failure to stop after an accident and for not stopping for the police officer. He was also ordered to pay £55 prosecution costs.

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