Lottery winner Carroll spared jail for drink-driving

LOTTERY winner Michael Carroll has spoken of his relief after being given a suspended prison sentence for drink-driving.

The 27-year-old arrived at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court yesterday with a large holdall to be sentenced after he was caught driving nearly four times the legal alcohol limit.

The court heard that the Downham Market resident was seen by a stunned motorist swerving across the road, bumping into kerbs and driving straight over a roundabout on August 1.

He was eventually pulled over by police and was so drunk he urinated against his Citroen Picasso before falling to the ground.

Breath tests revealed Carroll had 127 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – which is almost four times the legal limit.

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Gwen Wallace, prosecuting, said Carroll’s car was seen swerving across the road by a witness at around 6.50pm who, after following him, called police because he suspected the driver was drunk.

She said: “The witness said the driver had no control of the car and eventually hit a kerb, stopped and the driver stayed in his car.”

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When the witness went to the car, Carroll yelled: “Do you know who I am?”

Carroll then followed the witness but just after 7pm a police car, driven by Sgt Marcus Rowe, drove past the two cars and followed Carroll for about 10 minutes before pulling him over.

“Mr Carroll got out of the car and said hello to the officer,” Ms Wallace continued. “He told the officer the other car had reversed into him and he wanted to punch him.”

Ian Graham, mitigating, said his client accepted it was a high reading, he was being aggressive on that day and that he could get a custodial sentence.

He said: “His life has not been a normal one and he still suffers from an addiction to alcohol.

“Prior to him winning the lottery he only smoked cannabis but he was targeted by crack cocaine dealers until eventually he became addicted.

“At its height he was using an ounce a day which was costing him about �2,000 every day and these dealers simply bled him dry.”

He added: “He accepts he is the author of his own downfall and he has to wake up every morning knowing he has blown a golden opportunity. The party is over and he knows that.”

Mr Graham told the court Carroll has put his crack cocaine addiction behind him but needed help with his alcohol issues.

Carroll, who was convicted of drink-driving in 2001 and banned from driving for 18 months, pleaded guilty to drink-driving at an earlier hearing.

Magistrates disqualified Carroll from driving for 36 months but told him if he completes a drink-drive rehabilitation course by September 2012 he can have his licence back in November 2012.

The former binman was given a 16- week prison sentence that was suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in his community.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, a relieved Carroll said he had now turned a corner in his life, before adding: “I thought I was going to go to prison.”

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