Injured drink driver banned from the road

Richmond Road, Pevensey. 30/1/13
Richmond Road, Pevensey. 30/1/13

A motorist left injured after colliding with a taxi while over the drink drive limit to travel a few hundred yards has been left penniless, a court has heard.

Christopher Manners, of Eastbourne Avenue, Pevensey, appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court this week in a wheelchair after fracturing his pelvis and is currently unable to work or claim benefits. The court heard that police attended the Beach Tavern in Pevensey Bay following a report of people fighting.

As officers spoke to people at the scene they could hear an engine being revved nearby and the defendant then came round the corner. An officer signalled for Manners to stop which he initially did but he did not respond to the officer and then accelerated away at speed.

The defendant, who was followed by police, stopped to drop off his passenger before the collision occurred with a waiting taxi at traffic lights across the junction. A breath test showed he had 65mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

The former ground worker pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop a vehicle when directed by a police officer and driving without due care and attention. A matter of failing to stop after a road accident was withdrawn.

Dan Harrison, defending, said, “His recollection is limited as you can see he was quite seriously injured in the accident. “He accepts he had been drinking and he decided to drive.”

Mr Harrison said his client was taking a friend to his own home some 500 yards away who had been involved in the incident in the pub. He added, “As a consequence of making the decision to drive he’s now in a wheelchair.

“He was self-employed as a ground worker and living with his mother and quite comfortable financially. Financially [now] he’s in a postition where he doesn’t have anything but is not entitled to Job Seeker’s Allowance as he was self employed and to get Disability Living Allowance he has to be disabled for at least nine months. He’s lost his employment and his livelihood.”

For driving with excess alcohol Manners was banned from driving for 20 months which can be reduced by four months if he completes a drink driver rehabilitation course. He was also fined £110. He was fined the dame amount for the other two offences and must pay a £33 victim surcharge and £85 costs.