Misplaced gallantry ends in court

A BRICKLAYER'S “misplaced sense of gallantry” led to him trying to rescue a woman arrested on suspicion of drink driving by pulling her from a police car, magistrates heard.

A BRICKLAYER'S “misplaced sense of gallantry” led to him trying to rescue a woman arrested on suspicion of drink driving by pulling her from a police car, magistrates heard.

Sam Diston had let the woman drive his £5,000 Vauxhall Astra when it ended up side on across both lanes of Ipswich Road, in Stowmarket, on Christmas Day.

When police arrived at the scene, they arrested the woman on suspicion of drink driving. Diston tried to join her in the police car, but the officers refused.

So, while she was in the police car, Diston opened the door, hauled her out of the vehicle and ran off with her in tow.

Magistrates in Bury St Edmunds heard how the 20-year-old Diston then hit the two police officers who were chasing him.

Nikki Miller, prosecuting, said the officers had to spray him three times before he gave himself in. One of the officers, she said, suffered a knee injury, headaches and a sore face after being punched and knocked to the ground.

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Diston, of Steeles Road, in Woolpit, admitted assaulting a police constable, obstructing a police constable and using a car without insurance.

When the woman involved in the incident was later tested for alcohol, she was found to be under the drink drive limit.

She also revealed how on January 5, Diston drove the same red Vauxhall Astra with 59mcg of alcohol in a 100ml of breath. He flipped the car on to its back in Finborough Road, Stowmarket, and it slid down the road upside down. After the crash, she said, the car was a “write off”.

Kevin McCarthy, for Diston, said: “He is a young man of previous good character. The first set of offences was down to a misplaced sense of gallantry. The thinking was irrational. He ruined his family's Christmas.”

Sentencing Diston, magistrates gave him a 15-month community and supervision order, told him to attend a course for drink-impaired drivers, demanded he carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work, banned him from driving for 16 months, fined him £150, ordered him to pay £15 in victim surcharge, pay £60 towards costs and pay £120 in compensation to the police constable he assaulted.

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