Van driver 2.5x over limit in crash

BOOZY driver Steven Woods started drinking in Ipswich town centre pubs before getting behind the wheel of his Mercedes van, Ipswich magistrates were told.

BOOZY driver Steven Woods started drinking in Ipswich town centre pubs before getting behind the wheel of his Mercedes van, Ipswich magistrates were told.

He drove with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his breath – and after running down 21-year-old Alan Todd he panicked and sped off.

Woods, 28, of London Road, Ipswich, admitted driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident at South East Suffolk Magistrates' court yesterday.

Diabetic Mr Todd had his leg broken in two places after being hit while walking along Handford Road at around 1am on Sunday, July 28.

He was near the Three Jolly Sailors public house with his friend Emily Martin, 20, when he was hit.

Miss Smith immediately called the police and ambulance services, while Woods' white transit-style drove off without stopping.

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Mr Todd instinctively jumped to his feet after the incident but then collapsed to the ground in agony as his leg buckled under the weight.

Police later arrested Woods after another witness reported seeing his van parked nearby.

Prosecutor Anita Addison said Woods was found to have 87 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

"This is a very serious offence," she said

Mrs Addison added: "The family of my client have asked me to make the court aware that matters have been complicated further because he is a diabetic and further operations on his leg may be necessary. A family holiday also had to be cancelled."

Mitigating, David Goodin said: "My client has showed very genuine remorse over the incident. The reason that he did not report it straight away was because he panicked and was frightened."

He added that Mr Woods had a clean driving licence. Woods was employed as a driver for City Link, he said, but had been informed that he would lose his job after the incident.

A new position has been found for him working in the warehouse, the court heard.

Chairman of the bench Peter Page said: "The aggravating features of this offence is the serious injury to the person who you ran over. But in our view the more serious of the offences is your failure to stop after an accident."

"Only your recent good character and the remorse that you have shown has kept you out of prison today."

Woods was sentenced to 200 hours community punishment and was banned from driving for three years.

For failing to report an accident there was no separate penalty. He was ordered to pay £55 towards prosecution costs.

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