A SELF-EMPLOYED bricklayer and doorman who was found slumped over the steering wheel of a van has narrowly escaped being banned from the roads.
Police were called after a member of the public spotted Alexander Imich in the vehicle in Elms Avenue with the engine running on the morning of Sunday April 22.
Officers and paramedics attended the scene and inside the van a crack pipe, fishing knife and herbal cannabis was uncovered.
Eastbourne magistrates heard the 26-year-old defendant, who had been travelling home from work, seemed unsteady and drowsy and that his eyes were very restricted.
He was later taken to custody and a breath test showed no alcohol in his system but he failed an impairment test and a blood reading showed he had a tiny amount of cocaine in his system.
At his home address police found syringes and the Class C drug testosterone isocaproate.
At a hearing on Tuesday July 10 the Collingwood Close resident pleaded guilty to being in charge of a vehicle while unfit through drugs, possession of a class B drug, a Class C drug and possession of a knife blade.
Regarding the possession of the Class C drug Rosalind Crook, defending, said, “He goes to the gym and wanted to use steroids.
“He didn’t know they were illegal. Having said that he hadn’t used them for over a year and had recently moved.
“Regarding the fishing knife he regularly takes his son out fishing twice a week and generally leaves fishing equipment in his works van. He had left the knife in there by accident and put it under the chair to keep it out of the way of his son more than anything else.
“He hadn’t taken any cocaine since the Friday night, it was only found in his body.”
She said her client had been particularly tired and that he suffered from insomnia, adding, “He was going to phone his partner to come and get home.
“He doesn’t have any previous conviction.
“He works extremely hard and six days a week for a bricklaying company. He takes a car to get to and from places. He works Friday and Saturday night at a bar in Seaford as a trained doorman.
“He pleaded guilty at the very earliest opportunity, the amount of cannabis was very small and the class C drug has not been used for over a year or so.
“Without his driving licence he cannot work and will lose both jobs and his flat.”
Following a report by probation magistrates sentenced Imich to a 12 month community order for the possession of the a knife blade with 80 hours unpaid work.
For being in charge of a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs he was given 10 points on his licence and fined £200. He must also pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
There was no separate penalty for other offences but magistrates ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the syringes and drugs.