Man jailed after drunken van smash

A DRUNK, banned driver, swerved a van from side to side before crashing in Ipswich town centre, a court heard.Ronnie Tretton, a seven times disqualified driver, then tried to climb over his unconscious passenger to avoid being detected as the driver.

A DRUNK, banned driver, swerved a van from side to side before crashing in Ipswich town centre, a court heard.

Ronnie Tretton, a seven times disqualified driver, then tried to climb over his unconscious passenger to avoid being detected as the driver.

He refused to do a breath test, admitted possessing cocaine and was abusive and violent towards the police.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the 23-year-old and his friend were spotted by officers at Tower Ramparts outside Yates public house.


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Jan Brewer, prosecuting, said it was about 11.15pm on Friday, November 9 last year as the pubs were turning out that Tretton and his passenger got into a white van and drove off.

She said: “The van moved forwards in a jolting manner and the officer thought the driver was drunk or on drugs.

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“The vehicle hit both kerbs both sides of the road and did not have lights on.”

She said the van stopped and Tretton tried to wave the police past before he accelerated forward into Northgate Street, straight across Crown Street without stopping for oncoming traffic and into Fonnereau Road.

“The van crashed head on with a parked vehicle”, said Miss Brewer.

The court heard that when the police got to the van Tretton was climbing across the passenger who appeared unconscious but Tretton still had his seat on the driver's side.

Tretton, of Birch Close, Leigh-on-Sea, said he had had “a few drinks” but failed to give a specimen of breath.

He said he had taken the 316 milligrams of cocaine found on him off his friend who was supposed to drive them back to the Southend area but was more drunk than he was.

Miss Brewer said Tretton had been previously convicted of driving with excess alcohol and had seven previous disqualified driving offences recorded against him.

Tretton pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while banned, possessing Class A drugs, failing to provide a specimen of breath and having no insurance.

Christopher Whitcombe, mitigating, said the driving was over a short distance and his client's bad behaviour at the police station was due to the officers treating him “roughly”.

He said Tretton lived with his grandmother and felt that he had let her down.

Judge David Goodin jailed Tretton for 12 months and disqualified him from driving for three years.

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