Soldier faces custody threat

A SOLDIER is today fearing a spell in custody after he was caught driving dangerously in foggy conditions.Ashely Tate, 19, who is based at the Rock Barracks in Sutton, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and not having insurance after an incident on January 10.

A SOLDIER is today fearing a spell in custody after he was caught driving dangerously in foggy conditions.

Ashely Tate, 19, who is based at the Rock Barracks in Sutton, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and not having insurance after an incident on January 10.

Magistrates warned him that a pre-sentence report would look at all options, including custody.

The court heard on Wednesdayhow Tate was seen by police speeding in a Ford Focus along the A1214 at Martlesham. He crossed over to the wrong side of the road to pass other cars and further down the road, took over again at high speed before being stopped by police in Heath Road.


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Lesla Small, prosecuting, said: “The visibility was very poor, there was heavy fog and the roads were damp. He was driving 68mph in a 30mph speed limit. The Focus overtook the vehicles and he had to swerve to avoid bollards at the Dobbs Lane junction. He continued to drive at high speed.”

Tate, originally from Wakefield, is serving with the Parachute regiment at the base near Woodbridge and has recently returned from a tour to Afghanistan. The court heard how two of his friends wanted to go into town at midnight and one said he could borrow his car.

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Ian Duckworth, mitigating, said: “A friend offered him his vehicle and he assumed he was insured on it. He accepts the weather conditions were not brilliant.

“He accepts he put his passengers at risk. He drove too fast and overtook twice successfully. However there is no suggestion that any other vehicles were coming in the opposite direction.”

Magistrates gave him an interim disqualification from driving until his next court appearance. He is due to return to the magistrates court on March 4 at 2.15pm.

Do you think enough is being done for road users during extreme weather conditions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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