Shame of drink-drivers

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

TWO men who have previously served drink driving bans are named and shamed today disqualified again after repeating the crime on Suffolk's roads.

One of the man Jeffrey Gillings, of The Quay, Bawdsey, was found to be more than three times the legal alcohol limit.

TWO men who have previously served drink driving bans are named and shamed today disqualified again after repeating the crime on Suffolk's roads.

One of the man Jeffrey Gillings, of The Quay, Bawdsey, was found to be more than three times the legal alcohol limit.

A third man was also disqualified from driving for committing the same offence.

The string of bans were imposed on the same day an inquest heard how Suffolk scooter rider Duncan Shiel, who was twice over the drink-drive limit, died after celebrating on the eve of his birthday.

In a stark Christmas warning, the inquest heard how Duncan Shiel, whose parents live in East Bergholt, drank four pints of beer before jumping on his bike. He lost control of his vehicle on a bend and hurtled into a metal bollard the night before his 28th birthday.

The three drink-drivers convicted yesterday > all appeared in separate hearings at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Gillings, was caught driving an Austin Metro with excess alcohol on Bawdsey Road, Alderton on Saturday >.

A breath test by police revealed the 40-year-old was three times the limit for drink-driving. He measured 107 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Ian Pells, prosecuting, told the court Gillings served a three-year driving ban after being disqualified for drink-driving in April 1996.

Magistrates adjourned the case for the preparation of pre-sentence reports and released Gillings > to return to court on January 8.

Dean Dolby, of Lower Barn Road, Chattisham, will also be back in court for sentencing on January 8 after magistrates adjourned his case for pre-sentence reports.

He was caught driving a BMW with excess alcohol in The Street, Capel St Mary on Saturday.

A breath test revealed the 29-year-old measured 88mcgs in 100mls of breath.

Dolby was banned from driving for 18 months in 1999 for another drink driving offence.

Pensioner Harold Bennett was banned from driving for 18 months, fined £300 and ordered to pay £55 prosecution costs for driving with excess alcohol.

The 67-year-old, from Weir Place, Kirton, admitted drink-driving on the A14 at Belstead just after midnight on Saturday. He measured 56mcgs in 100mls of breath.

Ian Pells, prosecuting, told the court that another driver reported Bennett after he overtook her with his full beam lights. He was also said to be swerving on the road. Both drivers pulled over and waited for the police to arrive.

Charles Riddleston, in mitigation, said Bennett had driven back from a social event which is not something he would normally do.

Mr Riddleston said Bennett would normally have asked his wife for a lift but they were not on speaking terms at the time of the incident.

As magistrates in Ipswich heard the trio of drink-drive offences, Southwark Coroner's Court heard how 27-year-old St Albans born Mr Shiel, a group sales manager, was double the drink-drive limit when he lost control of his scooter in London on July 26.

Coroner Selena Lynch expressed sympathy to his parents and said: "This young man, only 27, had spent a happy and carefree afternoon looking forward to his birthday the next day. He was fatally injured on his way home. It's a tragic waste of life. There's no question here that alcohol has played part.

"I hope this case will serve as a reminder of the dangers of drinking."

Guy Cookes saw the accident at the "dangerous" junction of Chelsea Embankment and Grosvenor Road which has a sharp bend and three lanes of traffic.

"I remember a scooter coming up. I judged him to be going extremely fast for that junction," he said. "He threw the bike to the right, but it was basically beyond the handling capabilities of that bike by the looks of things. As he went to the right, the bike wheel started sliding out to the left. He was trying to fight to maintain control of the bike and the bike hit the kerb."

Mr Cookes told how the rider then hit the bollard.

Police accident investigator Robert Swann estimated Mr Shiel's speed at between 35mph and 40mph in a road with a 30mph limit.

Mr Shiel had been making his way to his home a few minutes away in Kennington, when he crashed.

The coroner reached a verdict of accidental death.

*The Evening Star pledges to name and shame drink drivers caught in December and January as part of its ongoing campaign to keep Suffolk's roads safe.

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