Solicitor nearly five times over limit
TROUBLED solicitor Simon Auden Young narrowly escaped jail after he was caught nearly five times over the legal drink drive limit.The apparent kind act, of moving a car for his wife, backfired after magistrates sentenced the solicitor from Bentley to a three year driving ban and ordered him to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community.
TROUBLED solicitor Simon Auden Young narrowly escaped jail after he was caught nearly five times over the legal drink drive limit.
The apparent kind act, of moving a car for his wife, backfired after magistrates sentenced the solicitor from Bentley to a three year driving ban and ordered him to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community.
Police spotted Young, of Station Road, Bentley, backing the car from the driveway after a night of drinking in October last year. A test revealed 161 mcg in 100 ml of breath, prosecutor David Taylor told the court. The legal limit is 35 mcg.
South East Suffolk Magistrates were told Young – who at the time was about to be driven to the office the morning after drinking – had a history of ill-health dating back since 1979.
He suffered from anxiety and depression and over the years received treatment in the form of tranquillisers, Valium and more recently anti-depressants. To try and combat stress he resorts to drinking quite heavily, said Trevor Linn, mitigating.
At the time he was waiting to go for a biopsy at Ipswich Hospital for suspected cancer on his mouth, which had set off a chain of drinking. It was made worse by the fact he had nursed and watched his mother died of cancer of the bowel in 1996.
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The night before he "didn't get much sleep" and "stayed up and drunk." In the morning his wife asked him to reverse the car out of the drive. "Without really thinking he got into the car," said Linn.
He told magistrates it was Young's wife's intention to drive him to the office. "She didn't know he had been drinking that night," said Linn. "Mr Young was not only drinking, but was very withdrawn and insular at that particular time," he explained.
He was described as "a 99.9 percent hard working" and "diligent man" qualified as a solicitor in 1993 and set up a practice a year later and from 2000 onwards acted as a sole practitioner.
The court heard he had a substantial amount of respect in his profession from colleagues, solicitors and barristers and also did voluntary work for the Citizens Advice Bureau.
South East Suffolk Magistrates were told it was an "isolated incident" and the 47-year-old drove no more than a few yards.
In addition to his driving ban bench chairman Jack Chapman sentenced Young, who pleaded guilty to drink driving, to an 18 month community rehabilitation order which will include a referral to a specialist alcohol programme.
Young, who was supported by family and friends in court, was also ordered to pay £80 prosecution costs.
A Law Society spokesman said they take drink driving seriously but it was "highly improbable" that a solicitor would be struck off because of a drink driving charge.