Drink-driver banned for second time after hitting lamppost and shopfront

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

A drink-driver whose car collided with a lamppost and a shop window has been banned from the road for the second time in 10 years.

Mandishona Mapfeka was more than twice the legal limit for alcohol when he crashed his Mercedes Executive SE in East Street, Sudbury.

The 36-year-old, of Abbas Walk, Great Cornard, told police he had consumed three pints before getting behind the wheel on the evening of March 23.

South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, heard how witnesses saw the Zimbabwean-born father-of-four’s car mount a pavement and collide with a lamppost at about 11.50pm.

Prosecutor Lesla Small said a following motorist and nearby nightclub worker watched Mapfeka attempt to pull away, before colliding with a shop window.

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As Mapfeka began to exit his vehicle, the nightclub worker grabbed the keys and kept hold of them until police arrived.

Mapfeka then told officers: ‘It is what it is. I was driving. It’s my fault’.

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Tests found 80 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of Mapfeka’s breath – exceeding the prescribed limit of 35mcg.

Solicitor Lisa Robinson said her client had made early admissions at the scene and was “extremely remorseful”.

She said Mapfeka was currently studying network engineering in Ipswich, but that he had left his telecommunications job in London as a result of facing an inevitable driving ban and being unable to afford public transport.

The court heard that Mapfeka will also need to find other means of visiting his four children – each located in a different part of the county.

Mapfeka, who had been banned for 12 months for drink-driving in September 2008, was handed a three-year disqualification.

Magistrates said they had no choice but to impose the minimum three-year ban for a second drink-driving conviction within the space of 10 years – a requirement under the Road Traffic Offenders Act.

Mapfeka was told he will have the opportunity to reduce the disqualification by a quarter upon completion of a drink-driver rehabilitation programme.

Magistrates also ordered him to pay a fine of £300, £85 in prosecution costs and a £30 statutory surcharge toward victim services.

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