Troubled life drink-driver avoids jail

A DRINK-driving mother who left a young woman with devastating injuries is today walking free after narrowly avoiding immediate imprisonment.

A DRINK-driving mother who left a young woman with devastating injuries is today walking free after narrowly avoiding immediate imprisonment.

Kerri Mills, 28, from Ipswich, admitted careless driving, drink-driving and driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

She was banned from driving for three years and her 16-week prison sentence was suspended for 18 months.

Vikki Coxon, a 24-year-old bar manager from Shotley, suffered horrific injuries when the car Mills was driving drifted on to the wrong side of the road and ploughed into her on August 27.

Miss Coxon was half-way through the 20-minute walk to her home in Main Road, Shotley, with her boyfriend Craig Morley and two friends after a night at the pub, when Mills' Vauxhall Astra slammed into her from behind.

The crash meant Miss Coxon spent six weeks in Ipswich Hospital where she was given a blood transfusion, had 42 staples and 37 stitches and received extensive treatment for her leg injuries. It is thought she will be in a wheelchair for up to a year.

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Trevor Linn, mitigating for Mills, explained how the single mother, who lives in Wellesley Road, in the California area of Ipswich, has had a traumatic life.

He told the court on Tuesdayhow she had been abused as a child, raped and suffered miscarriages and domestic violence. Earlier this year, her relationship broke up, which led to her losing her home and bankruptcy.

Mr Linn said: “She has had long-term depression and has been drinking excessively to try and cope with her trauma.

“She's genuinely a remorseful person. She has put together a small amount of money for Miss Coxon as a gesture.”

Chairman of the bench Diana Hunt said: “We have suspended this sentence because of the remorse you have shown, the welfare of your son, and the fact that you have a previously good character.”

Following the case, Miss Coxon's father, David, fought back the tears as he said: “I think the sentence is fair.”

The Evening Star is set to launch its drink driving awareness campaign later this month. The Name and Shame campaign exposes every drink-driver caught over the Christmas and New Year period.

N Do you know someone who has been a victim of a drink-driver? Write to Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

KERRI Mills' victim Vikki Coxon today said she was determined to strive for a full recovery, despite still nursing severe injuries and both her legs still in plaster.

Miss Coxon told The Evening Star she was serving her own sentence after being hit by Mills after the drink driver pleaded guilty last month.

Today she said she was determined not to think of Mills' court case, instead focussing on her road to recovery.

“I just want to get better now,” she said.

“I've still got both of my casts on. It's still a long process.”

During yesterday's hearing, the court heard how the tyres on Mills' car were the incorrect pressure, and the front shock absorbers were also defective, which meant it was considered to be in a dangerous condition.

A reading of alcohol in her blood showed she was more than twice the legal limit.

As well as the suspended sentence and the driving disqualification, Mills will be subject to a supervision order and a curfew for 16 weeks. Her driver's licence was endorsed and she had to pay £60 in costs.

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