A drunk 69-year-old Suffolk man who crashed into two cars after driving one mile the wrong way along the A12 after drinking half a bottle of vodka has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Julian Wright, Judge Martin Levett, described the crash as “horrific” and said there was a “deliberate nature” to his driving.

Wright was driving at 60-70mph on a stretch of the A12 between Pakefield and Kessingland when he collided with a car driven by a nurse who was overtaking a Nissan car in front of her.

Wright’s Fiat Spider also collided with the Nissan which was driven by a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Donal Lawlor, prosecuting, said Wright, who suffered leg injuries in the crash, told a woman who went to his aid that he had been trying to kill himself and had drunk half a bottle of vodka.

Wright of The Firs, Lowestoft, admitted dangerous driving on July 22 last year.

He was given a 15 month prison sentence suspended for two years, a nine month curfew between 7pm and 7am, a 50 day rehabilitation activity requirement and an alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement.

He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £750 costs.

The court heard that a blood sample taken in hospital four hours after the collision showed Wright had 105 mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood - the legal limit is 80.

In a victim impact statement the nurse who was driving one of the cars that was hit by Wright described what he did as “cruel and selfish”.

She suffered whiplash, cuts and bruises in the collision and said she might have to retire early because she now suffered travel anxiety and viewed every car on the road as a weapon.

The driver of the Nissan and her passenger were left hanging upside down in their overturned vehicle but a scan showed her unborn baby had not been harmed.

The court heard that Wright told police he had drunk half a bottle of vodka and had driven the wrong way on the dual carriageway by mistake. He denied trying to kill himself.

Matthew McNiff for Wright said his client was genuinely remorseful and had issues with alcohol and his mental health which he had now addressed.