Chef hit parked police car after drinking 18 pints and taking cocaine at races

Newmarket races. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Newmarket races. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant

A chef has been banned from driving for four years and labelled a “clear danger” to road users after his BMW collided with a police car following a drink and drug-fuelled day at the races.

Freddie Footer chose to drive home from a friend’s house in the early hours of the morning after he drank at least 18 pints and took cocaine during the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket.

The 25-year-old, of Westbury Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, was also over the limit for ketamine – a horse tranquilliser – when the wing mirror of his BMW 318 clipped the offside wheel arch of a parked police car at about 2.50am on October 15.

On Monday, South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, heard Footer had already been convicted of drink-driving in 2012.

Prosecutor Tess Mann said Footer smelled strongly of alcohol, was swaying where he stood, and appeared confused when stopped by officers following the collision in Highbury Road.

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Toxicology results showed Footer drove with 53 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath (the legal limit being 35), 65mcg of cocaine per litre of blood (the legal limit being 10) and 90mcg of ketamine per litre of blood (the legal limit being 20).

Ahead of his sentencing, Footer told the probation service he drank at least 18 pints and took cocaine at the races, and had taken ketamine the day before, but made the “stupid” decision to drive home from his friend’s house.

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He also revealed it was not out of the ordinary for him to consume 18-20 pints at least three days a week.

Magistrates told Footer it should come as no surprise that his offence crossed the custody threshold.

They reduced the jail sentence from 18 weeks to 12 weeks for his guilty plea and suspended the term for 24 months.

He must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 25 days of rehabilitation activity.

Magistrates told Footer: “You are clearly a danger to people on the road. This is your second alcohol-related driving conviction within 10 years.

“If you get behind the wheel of a car while disqualified, we guarantee you will go to prison.”

Footer was ordered to pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £115 statutory victim surcharge.

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