Unlicensed Felixstowe drug-driver had taken cocaine, cannabis and Diazepam before A14 crash

Roadside drug test

Roadside drug test - Credit: Archant

An unlicensed drug-driver whose car crashed off the A14 when he had cocaine, cannabis and Diazepam in his system has been given a community order.

Gary Crowe, of High Road West, Felixstowe, admitted 10 offences when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich.

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and cannabis, driving without an MoT, driving without a licence, driving without insurance, four counts of drug-driving, and failing to surrender to bail on March 27.

All the drug and driving offences occurred on January 31.

Crowe claimed his brakes had failed when the Ford Puma he was driving came off the A14 at Levington.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the car went over a traffic island, down an embankment and smashed into a fence.

After the accident police found two males, one of whom was Crowe, walking away in the direction of Felixstowe.

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Crowe initially claimed he did not know what the officer was talking about when he was questioned about the car that had crashed. However, his hands and trainers were muddy.

A blood test showed Crowe had cocaine, a derivative of cocaine, cannabis and Diazepam in his system.

Mark Holt, representing Crowe, said his client had bought the Ford Puma three or four days before the crash for around £150, but did not realise it did not have a MoT.

Mr Holt said: “He says as he tried to negotiate the slip road the brakes just weren’t there and that’s why he just kept on going and then came to a stop.”

The court was told although it would be natural to think drugs may have played a part in the accident it did not necessarily follow that they did. However, it was conceded Crowe should not have been driving.

He held a provisional licence and had bought the car on impulse.

Mr Holt said: “Temptation got the better of him.”

Magistrates were told Crowe – who had worked at Tilbury Docks - believed the vehicle to be roadworthy.

The cannabis and cocaine were consumed the previous night.

Crowe was given a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for 15 months and was ordered to pay £170.