Ipswich: Pot-smoking 70-year-old caught drug-driving

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A 70-year-old drug-driver is paying the price after smoking cannabis at a funeral before getting behind the wheel.

Sylburn Powis was disqualified from driving for 17 months after admitting driving a vehicle while unfit through drugs when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

Prosecutor Rosalind Cappleman said a police officer was on duty in Greyfriars Road, Ipswich, at 12.20pm on August 31 when he noticed a red Mercedes travelling at 15 to 20mph and weaving across the road.

The officer followed the vehicle into Civic Drive and then Handford Road,

Mrs Cappleman said the Mercedes 180 was swerving from one side of the carriageway to the other and continued to travel slowly.


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The officer stopped the vehicle, which was being driven by Powis.

The court was told there was a strong smell of cannabis inside the car.

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Powis denied having smoked cannabis and said he had been to a funeral where people had been smoking it.

However, cannabis was found when Powis went through his pockets and a Clingfilm wrap fell to the ground.

Mrs Cappleman said a further wrap was found in his shirt pocket.

Following Powis’ arrest a blood sample was taken which tested positive for the presence of cannabis.

Claire Hullock, representing Powis, of Upton, west London, said he was an occasional user of the drug as he found it helped combat the pain he had from sciatica.

She said the former HGV driver was mortified to be appeared in court and finds it difficult to believe his driving fell below the standard expected.

The court heard Powis had returned to Ipswich, where he had lived for many years, but was unfamiliar with the road layout which had changed.

He had been to the funeral of an old friend and met other people he had not seen for a long time. After the funeral they smoked cannabis around three hours before Powis began his drive home.

At the time he was stopped he was trying to find his way out of Ipswich as he head towards London.

In addition to his driving ban Powis was fined £100 and orders to pay £30 costs, along with £20 to the victims’ fund.

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