Melton: Bans for couple who drove their cars the 50 yards home while drunk

Roy Burgon leaving court

Roy Burgon leaving court - Credit: Archant

A couple who drove their cars 50 yards from a social club to their home while drunk have been banned from driving.

Mel Arundel leaving court

Mel Arundel leaving court - Credit: Archant

Mel Arundel and Roy Burgon, of South Close, Melton, near Woodbridge, were convicted of drink-driving following a trial before Ipswich magistrates. Both had denied to the offence.

The pair must now pay a total £3,710 in fines and costs between them.

They claimed they were victims of spite involving a man who held a grudge against Arundel after she dismissed someone he knew from the care home she managed in Ipswich.

Burgon - a staff nurse at another Ipswich care home, and Arundel accepted they were over the legal alcohol limit when breathalysed.

They maintained they were under the limit when they drove home from St Audrey’s Social Club after meeting up from work. However, they said they consumed wine and cider when they got home.

Pcs Benjamin Coombes and Stephen Griggs went to the couple’s house after an anonymous 999 call at around 11.35pm on April 19.

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The caller stated the pair had driven home while drunk.

When the officers arrived around midnight they put their hands under the wheel arches of Arundel’s Kia Venga and Burgon’s Ford Fiesta. Both engines were still warm.

Prosecutor Sarah-Jane Atkins said the couple were inside the house in a drunken state.

Burgon, 58, answered the door and smelled of alcohol. His eyes were glazed, he was unsteady on his feet, the court heard.

Arundel, 54, was in the lounge and also appeared drunk. Both were in their dressing gowns.

In court Burgon claimed he had consumed less than two pints of lager in the social club, while Arundel said she had drunk less than two small glasses of red wine.

They said after arriving home they had consumed one bottle of wine and begun another by the time police arrived. Burgon also admitted having a can of cider.

Breath tests showed Arundel had 93 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, while Burgon had 70 mcgs in 100 mls of breath. The legal limit is 35 mcgs.

Arundel told the court they had left the social club earlier than was alleged as she had been intimidated by the man with a vendetta against her.

Magistrates banned Burgon from driving for 12 months and Arundel for 17 months.