Felixstowe dangerous driver denies breaching curfew

Martyn Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Martyn Hart was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A Felixstowe man who was given a curfew last year as part of a suspended prison sentence for dangerous driving on the A12 has denied breaching the curfew on the basis that the equipment was faulty.

Mark Church, of Brightwell Close, Felixstowe, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court last year and admitted dangerous driving, driving under the influence of drugs and driving without insurance.

He was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, a rehabilitation activity requirement, a six month curfew and a three year driving ban.

Today he returned to court and denied breaching his curfew on November 24 and December 12.

Paul Donegan for Church said his client claimed he was at home on November 24 and that the curfew equipment was faulty.

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He said that overnight on December 11-12 Church had been stuck in Woodbridge after trains were cancelled due to snow.

The case was adjourned until February 16 for a one hour hearing during which evidence will be called by the prosecution and the defence.

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During Church’s sentencing hearing last year the court heard that a policeman heading towards Ipswich on the A12, near the Aldeburgh turn off, at around 3.30am on April 1 saw a stationary car in the middle of the opposite carriageway and turned his vehicle round to see if the driver needed help.

As he approached the car driven by Church it drove off towards Lowestoft and was followed by the police car.

The car was swerving all over the road and on several occasions it drove on the opposite carriageway towards on-coming traffic causing drivers to flash their lights.

The officer suspected the driver was under the influence of drink or drugs and called for assistance.

A marked police car took over the chase and saw Church’s car hitting the kerb and driving on the wrong carriageway.

As Church, who had a passenger in the car, approached Frostenden he mounted the grass verge and stopped.

His eyes were glazed and he was unsteady on his feet and a drugs test proved positive for cocaine.

He told police his passenger had asked him to drive him to Stowmarket and he had agreed to it because he felt intimidated by him.

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