Copdock: Drink-driving priest crashed car

Priest was more than twice the limit

Priest was more than twice the limit - Credit: Archant

A drink-driving priest involved in an early morning car crash while almost twice the alcohol limit has been giving a 17-month motoring ban.

Kevin Stokes, of Sinclair Drive, Ipswich, admitted drink-driving when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Simon Newell said police attended an accident at the Copdock interchange at 12.08am on October 14.

A vehicle had lost control while negotiating the slip-road to come off the A14, before going on to a grass verge and colliding with a crash barrier.

Paramedics were called but Stokes, who was driving a Vauxhall Corsa, was unhurt. However, when police gave the 52-year-old locum priest a roadside breath test it showed a positive reading.

A subsequent intoximeter reading showed Stokes had 69 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

Jeremy Kendall, representing Stokes, said his client apologised for the “aberration”. The court was told Stokes’ sister had recently died from Huntington’s Disease and he was told to get himself tested as she was the third member of his family to have died from the illness.

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Stokes had gone into Ipswich during the previous afternoon, met a friend and had a few drinks.

Later that day he was going to see another friend in Dedham, intending to stay the night.

However, he was said to have driven after miscalculating the amount of alcohol he had consumed.

Mr Kendall said: “He knows he has brought embarrassment to himself and the church with this, but it’s important to bear in mind the personal difficulties he is still wrestling with.”

In addition to his ban, Stokes was ordered to pay £215 in fines and costs.