‘Britain’s worst drink-driver’ banned for five years after new offence
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A former aircraft engineer, once dubbed ‘Britain’s worst drink-driver’, has been banned from the road for another five years after repeating the offence under the nose of a police officer.
Murtagh Langton was four times the legal limit as he climbed behind the wheel of his Audi S3 in plain sight of an officer at the Esso garage on the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills.
The 65-year-old was banned for three years in 2010 for crashing his Volkswagen Golf into another car on the way home from a new, but short-lived, job at RAF Wattisham while five-and-a-half times the limit.
Langton, of The Street, Barton Mills, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates Court on Wednesday, where he returned for sentencing following a guilty plea last month, accompanied by staff from Project Nova, which supports veterans under, or at risk of arrest.
Prosecutor Colette Harper explained how Langton was seen walking unsteadily across the forecourt of the A11 filling station at 3.15pm on July 12, by a police officer who asked if he was OK.
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“His speech was slurred when he replied that he was OK and was just walking home,” she added.
“The officer noticed keys in his hand and watched him get into a car, before driving to the rear of the car park – at which point, the officer took his number plate, followed him and stopped the car.
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“Mr Langton is well aware of the drink-drive limits because of his previous conviction, and this offence was aggravated by the warning he received before driving away.”
Langton, who told police he had last consumed a drink 15 minutes before being pulled over on Old Mill Lane, was found to have 138 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg.
He told magistrates that alcohol was a method of self-medicating ongoing mental health issues.
“I made a very bad error of judgement and deeply regret what I did,” he added.
“When I’m depressed, I don’t think logically.”
Langton said he was receiving support from Project Nova and had attended four assessments with substance misuse service provider Turning Point.
Langton was handed an 18-week prison term, suspended for 18 months with requirements to attend 30 rehabilitation activity days and complete alcohol treatment. He was also banned from driving for five years.