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Ipswich: Pot-smoking 70-year-old caught drug-driving

11:00 16 January 2014

South East Suffolk Magistrates

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court


A 70-year-old drug-driver is paying the price after smoking cannabis at a funeral before getting behind the wheel.


Sylburn Powis was disqualified from driving for 17 months after admitting driving a vehicle while unfit through drugs when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

Prosecutor Rosalind Cappleman said a police officer was on duty in Greyfriars Road, Ipswich, at 12.20pm on August 31 when he noticed a red Mercedes travelling at 15 to 20mph and weaving across the road.

The officer followed the vehicle into Civic Drive and then Handford Road,

Mrs Cappleman said the Mercedes 180 was swerving from one side of the carriageway to the other and continued to travel slowly.

The officer stopped the vehicle, which was being driven by Powis.

The court was told there was a strong smell of cannabis inside the car.

Powis denied having smoked cannabis and said he had been to a funeral where people had been smoking it.

However, cannabis was found when Powis went through his pockets and a Clingfilm wrap fell to the ground.

Mrs Cappleman said a further wrap was found in his shirt pocket.

Following Powis’ arrest a blood sample was taken which tested positive for the presence of cannabis.

Claire Hullock, representing Powis, of Upton, west London, said he was an occasional user of the drug as he found it helped combat the pain he had from sciatica.

She said the former HGV driver was mortified to be appeared in court and finds it difficult to believe his driving fell below the standard expected.

The court heard Powis had returned to Ipswich, where he had lived for many years, but was unfamiliar with the road layout which had changed.

He had been to the funeral of an old friend and met other people he had not seen for a long time. After the funeral they smoked cannabis around three hours before Powis began his drive home.

At the time he was stopped he was trying to find his way out of Ipswich as he head towards London.

In addition to his driving ban Powis was fined £100 and orders to pay £30 costs, along with £20 to the victims’ fund.



  • Unbelievable, the comments are disabled on the story of the 61 year old murdered by the Lithuanian. 14 months,what.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • So it's ok to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, providing you don't hurt anybody?

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • An old fella doing 15mph, prob his normal speed anyway.

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    Lee Davies

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • An old fella doing 15mph, prob his normal speed anyway.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • The Original Victor Meldrew waspie's wife here. No it's not, but sadly I suspect like us you have witnessed a much more liberal attitude toward drink and drugs especially from the media and "celebrity". I see they are bringing in a new "spitaliser", I think it's called roll on. Stopping more the morning after is needed now I think. Don't know what the numbers of traffic police are now, since older days and because of the merger, but we could do with a few more. I see Ipswich are trialling body camera's. That will open a few eyes up on what the police have to put up with I'm sure. Mind how you go.

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    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • best article read all day did put a cheer on my face its not like he hurt any one.

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    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • 70 year's old , How about making him retake the driving test when his driving ban is finished ,, hopefully he would fail and one silly old dangerous git would be off the road for good

    Report this comment


    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • I think the magistrates (and the police) added 1+1 and came up with 3. Cannabis does not cause the same symptoms and inability to control a vehicle as alcohol. It is indeed highly likely that Mr Powis (as he said under oath) was indeed unaware of the road layout and should the rather over keen police officer who enjoys nicking people felt the need to charge him, it should have been a lesser charge of careless driving and cautioned for possession of a Class B substance. He should've plead not guilty. I think he was given poor advice by his solicitor - advice that has cost him his licence and expensive insurance in future.

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

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