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Crash driver over four times over limit

PUBLISHED: 11:14 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 07:29 01 August 2010

A BUILDING consultant who drove into a telegraph pole while nearly five times the legal limit told a court that he drank two bottles of wine after the crash to calm his nerves.

A BUILDING consultant who drove into a telegraph pole while nearly five times the legal limit told a court that he drank two bottles of wine after the crash to calm his nerves.

Alastair Campbell, of Brick Hill Cottages in Wissett, near Halesworth, told magistrates in Lowestoft yesterday that he was over the drink-drive limit when found by police because he was shaken up after the crash and drank two bottles of red wine.

John Davies, prosecuting, told the court that 52-year-old Campbell had crashed his car into a telegraph pole on the High Street in Ilketshall St Margaret, near Beccles, at about 3.30pm on March 10 and then left the wrecked Peugeot 106 at the scene.

When he was found at home by police an hour later, he was nearly five times the legal alcohol limit.

Campbell told the court that after dropping off his daughter at work at about 1.30pm, he went to the King's Head pub in Bungay and drank two small glasses of wine.

He then drove home to check his e-mails and said he could not remember how his car ended up wrapped around the telegraph pole. Unable to move the car, he left it blocking the road and got a lift home from a stranger without reporting the incident to the police.

Campbell denied that he fled the scene of the collision because he knew he had been drinking.

He said: “It was raining and I tried to move the car but that made my chest really hurt.

“There was no one about and it was raining.

“My phone battery had gone earlier in the morning and I just wanted to get home.

“I didn't realise hitting a post was reportable. The only damage done was to me and my vehicle and I couldn't move it,” he said.

After getting home, he was shaken up and could not find any painkillers so instead he drank two bottles of wine before going to lie down.

Campbell was found guilty of drink- driving with a breath test reading of 167mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Magistrate John Stannard said: “We do not believe that you drank two bottles of wine at home between leaving the scene of the accident and being breathalysed by the police.

“You have numerous incon-sistencies in your answers to the police and then those given in interview.

“Also you had more than one chance to report the accident and your injuries, yet you didn't take any of them,” said Mr Stannard.

“It is a very high reading and, as far as we are concerned, there are no mitigating circumstances. You committed this offence recklessly and carelessly.”

Campbell will return to Lowestoft Magistrates' Court on July 23 before being committed to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

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