Suffolk widow banned from road

A SUFFOLK widow is off the road today after she was caught driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit on Boxing Day.Charity worker Jean Soanes drove her Toyota after a drinking session brought on by the pain of losing her husband and the fact her children did not visit her at Christmas.

A SUFFOLK widow is off the road today after she was caught driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit on Boxing Day.

Charity worker Jean Soanes drove her Toyota after a drinking session brought on by the pain of losing her husband and the fact her children did not visit her at Christmas.

Mrs Soanes, 62, was found to have 94 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when she was stopped in Kentford Road, Felixstowe, at 5.10pm. The legal limit is 35mg.

It was the second time she had been convicted of drink driving, South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard.

Mrs Soanes, who also lives in Kentford Road, told the court she had struggled to deal with the loss of her husband, who died in an accident on November 11, 2005.

“I just hadn't come to terms with it and the worst time is at birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries. It was terrible,” she said.

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“My children didn't come round and I kept drinking and drinking. But I was in the wrong to drive - there is no excuse.”

Mrs Soanes, a voluntary worker at a Red Cross shop in Felixstowe, who represented herself in court, said she had been to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous voluntarily and was in daily contact with the addiction group.

She admitted driving with excess alcohol. She had previously been convicted of drink driving in 2006.

She was banned from driving for three years, fined £500, ordered to pay £60 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

District judge David Cooper said hers was a very high reading but added: “I can appreciate that personal tragedy has played a part in this.”

He said he was not giving her a community order because she was involved in charity work already.