Driver was nearly six times over limit

A FATHER who was found to be almost six times over the drink-drive limit after crashing his car has been jailed for three months.John Fitzgerald Kenmore, 38, of Maria Court, Hythe Quay, Colchester, crashed his car into a lamppost after a drinking binge on June 8, Colchester magistrates heard yesterday .

A FATHER who was found to be almost six times over the drink-drive limit after crashing his car has been jailed for three months.

John Fitzgerald Kenmore, 38, of Maria Court, Hythe Quay, Colchester, crashed his car into a lamppost after a drinking binge on June 8, Colchester magistrates heard yesterday .

Last night, a national drink-drive campaign group reacted angrily to the “leniency” of the sentence, the maximum for which is six months' imprisonment.

Kenmore had also served a one-year driving ban for drink driving in 1997, the court heard.


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Sarah Anns, a spokeswoman for the Campaign Against Drinking and Driving, said: “It's right that he should go to jail this time, but really, as it was his second offence, I think he should have got the maximum.”

At an earlier hearing, Kenmore had pleaded guilty to driving with alcohol above the legal limit and also of failing to report an accident.

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Yesterday, Colchester magistrates heard how he had drunk a can of lager at his girlfriend's home before meeting a friend at the Beer House pub in the Hythe area of Colchester.

Knowing he would be there for some time, he left his Citroen Xsara company car outside with the intention of later walking the short distance back to his flat and collecting his car in the morning to go to work, the court heard.

But Paul Baker, mitigating, explained that when Kenmore left the pub he realised his car could be blocking its gateway, so he decided to move it.

Mr Baker told the court: “He couldn't find anywhere else to park, so he drove the short distance home, but the alcohol had impaired his judgement and he hit a lamppost.”

The court heard how he was abusive to witnesses and continued to drive home.

Mr Baker said Kenmore was so shaken by the incident that he wanted to “stay low” for a while and sober up, but instead had another bottle of cider, which may have affected the drink drive reading when the police arrived later, the court was told.

Kenmore, who has lost his job in the insurance industry as a result of the incident, was found to have 203 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Mr Baker pleaded with the court to avoid handing down a custodial sentence because of the adverse impact it would have on Kenmore, especially with regard to his young son.

Sentencing Kenmore, chairman of the bench Fraser Bell said: “We consider this incident so serious that custody is the only way to proceed. We have also taken into account the abusive nature of your behaviour.”

Kenmore was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for drink driving and one month for failing to report an accident, to run concurrently.

He was also disqualified from driving for three years starting from June 10, although this could be reduced by nine months upon successful completion of a rehabilitation course.

The Campaign Against Drink Driving reacted angrily to the “leniency” of the sentence.

Ms Anns added: “His first sentence obviously was not tough enough because he didn't learn.

“People tend to think that drink driving is only a problem at Christmas, but it's worse during the summer when people booze at barbeques and other events.”

Inspector Simon Morgan, of Essex Police, said: “This sentence sends out a clear message to other people that we will not tolerate drink driving and they may well face prison if they continue to flout the law.”

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