Councillor admits drink drive shame

A SENIOR councillor has been banned from driving for 12 months after he drove while over the limit.Kevin Bentley, 42, cabinet member for culture and PR at Colchester Borough Council, pleaded guilty to drink-driving yesterday, was fined £750 and banned from driving for 12 months.

A SENIOR councillor has been banned from driving for 12 months after he drove while over the limit.

Kevin Bentley, 42, cabinet member for culture and PR at Colchester Borough Council, pleaded guilty to drink-driving yesterday, was fined £750 and banned from driving for 12 months.

He appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court, where he expressed his regret on the steps of the court as he spoke to reporters.

He said the experience had provided him with a valuable lesson and that his first appearance in court was an experience he wouldn't wish to repeat.


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He said: “I hope people learn the lesson that I learned; that what I did was wrong and I was fully prepared to accept the consequences this morning.

“I would also like to say thank you to the police officers who treated me in a very respectful manner and very graciously.

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“I shall never drink and drive again and I hope that it bears as a suitable warning to other people that it is not acceptable to drink and drive on the same day or the morning after.

“It is the first time I've ever appeared in court and it is the last time I intend to. Everybody treated me very well and it is not an experience I ever intend to go through again.”

Last week, Bentley, a former BBC Look East reporter, told the EADT he had withdrawn his application to become the Conservative Party candidate for the newly-created Witham constituency at the next General Election.

He also revealed he had offered his resignation to council leader Robert Davidson, but said that his council colleagues had persuaded him not to leave his post.

At about midnight on Friday November 3, police stopped Bentley on Lower Road, Peldon, as he drove to his home in Willoughby End, Willow Avenue, West Mersea, from a private dinner.

Despite leaving a three-hour gap before getting behind the wheel, Bentley said he did not feel over the limit and would have never driven if he had felt that he were.

He was breathalysed and found to have 54 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Bentley, a director of Colchester-based PR firm Mosaic Publicity, was also ordered to pay £43 costs and told by district judge David Cooper that if he took part in a rehabilitation scheme his ban would be cut by three months.

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