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Man from Felixstowe was 'stupefied' by drugs when he drove on wrong side of A12, court told

25 August, 2017 - 15:00
Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

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A Felixstowe man who was "stupefied" by drugs when he drove on the wrong side of the road on the A12 during a police chase has been given a suspended prison sentence.

A policeman heading towards Ipswich on the A12, near the Aldeburgh turn off, at around 3.30am on April 1 saw a stationary car in the middle of the opposite carriageway and turned his vehicle round to see if the driver needed help, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

As he approached the car driven by Mark Church it drove off towards Lowestoft and was followed by the police car, said Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting.

The car was swerving all over the road and on several occasions it drove on the opposite carriageway towards on-coming traffic causing drivers to flash their lights.

The officer suspected the driver was under the influence of drink or drugs and called for assistance.

A marked police car took over the chase and saw Church’s car hitting the kerb and driving on the wrong carriageway.

As Church, who had a passenger in the car, approached Frostenden he mounted the grass verge and stopped.

His eyes were glazed and he was unsteady on his feet and a drugs test proved positive for cocaine.

He told police his passenger had asked him to drive him to Stowmarket and he had agreed to it because he felt intimidated by him.

Church, 39, of Brightwell Close, Felixstowe, admitted dangerous driving, driving without insurance and driving under the influence of drugs.

He was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to take part in a rehabilitation requirement .

He was also given a six-month curfew and a three-year driving ban.

The court heard Church had two previous convictions for drink driving and one for failing to provide a breath specimen.

Sentencing him, Recorder Ian Evans said Church had been “stupefied” and unaware of what was going on as a result of the drugs he had taken.

Duncan Jones, for Church, said he would benefit from the support of the probation service as part of a community sentence.

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