Drink-driver spared jail after crash

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A FATHER-of-two who committed his third drink-drive offence in 10 years when he crashed his car, injuring both himself and a passenger, has been spared jail.

Alnwick magistrates told Barry Gordon Scott that they had ‘seriously considered’ sending him to prison for the incident, which happened on September 18 last year when he was more than two times over the legal limit, coupled with his previous crimes.

Instead, the 31-year-old from Townfoot, Lesbury, was disqualified from driving for five years, fined £725 and urged to attend Escape Family Support – a service which offers help, advice and information to anyone affected by drugs, solvents or alcohol.

But magistrates did not offer Scott another drink-driving rehabilitation course because they said previous sessions had obviously had no impact on him.

The court heard that Scott, who pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle when his alcohol level was above the limit, crashed his BMW on Beach View, Boulmer, at around 9.25pm.

Scott was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital and a police officer described him as being ‘very drunk’ with slurred speech, glazed eyes and his breath smelling of alcohol.

A test revealed that he had 192milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – the legal limit being 80mg.

The court was told that Scott had been convicted for excess alcohol offences in 2001 and in 2007 and was disqualified from driving and had his driving licence endorsed on both occasions.

Tom Rodgers, defending, said that Scott had been out drinking with friends but matters went too far.

He said that his client recognised he had acted ‘foolishly’, was ‘truly sorry’ and was ‘extremely regretful’ that his ‘travelling companion had sustained injuries’ in the incident.

Mr Rodgers added that Scott felt he had let both his family and his employers – who had spoken highly of Scott in a character reference – down with his actions.

Sentencing Scott, chairman of the bench Andrew Nicholls told Scott that there were several aggravating features with the offence, including the fact that he had caused injury to himself and a passenger.

“We seriously considered sending you to prison because of the seriousness of this offence and this is your third offence in 10 years and you have been convicted on these three occasions.

“We have noted that you are very remorseful and the reference from your employer was also taken into account and you are in continuous employment.

“Having taken all the facts into consideration, we have decided to reduce the severity of the penalty to reflect your early guilty plea.”

But he added: “We are not offering you a drink-driving rehabilitation course as you have already taken it on other occasions but it obviously hasn’t had much effect.”

Scott was also made to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.