Very lucky driver avoids jail term

IPSWICH: A man has been told he is “very lucky” not to be starting a prison sentence today after he admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

IPSWICH: A man has been told he is “very lucky” not to be starting a prison sentence today after he admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Russell Richards, 46, of Samuel Court, Ipswich, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing but initially told police he had not been driving his car when it was involved in an accident.

The incident took place in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich, on December 10 last year but in a statement Richards said he had not been behind the wheel and answered only “no comment” in interviews.

The court heard that Richards had previously been in a long relationship with Charletta Dozzell, sister of ex-Town star Jason, and the couple had a 14-year-old daughter.

Miss Dozzell told the court that Richards, who also has a family with his current partner, was a “good father” who saw his daughter three times a week.

Roger Carne, defending, said: “He's a family man. He's a person who faces up to his responsibilities. He simply turned his mind away from it (the incident) and evaded the issue.”

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In sentencing, Recorder Richard Sutton QC said the case had clearly passed the custody threshold but he was prepared to take a more lenient stance.

He handed Richards, who had previously spent time in prison, a nine-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered him to pay a �1,500 fine and �1,500 costs as well as a �15 victim surcharge. He was also given a supervision requirement for 12 months.

Mr Sutton said: “I think anybody who has a record like yours and then goes straight for a period of 11 years deserves some recognition for that - you have made the effort, and that has to be recognised.

“You are lucky - very lucky, because I had intended that you go straight to prison.”

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