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Car crash driver who kicked police officer was five times alcohol limit

Michael Turner admitted drink-driving and assaulting a police officer at Suffolk Magistrates' Court  Picture: GREGG BROWN

Michael Turner admitted drink-driving and assaulting a police officer at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

A man who kicked a police officer after crashing his car while five times the drink-driving limit has been spared immediate jail.

Michael Turner drank a bottle of vodka before his Land Rover Discovery collided with a Renault Clio in Tayfen Road, Bury St Edmunds, at 3.30pm on January 2.

The 53-year-old was then said to have turned "aggressive" at the roadside, furiously pacing up and down with no apparent concern for occupants of the other vehicle.

Turner, of Smallwood Green, near Rougham, refused a breath test when police arrived but later blew 173 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath in custody - the limit being 35mcg.

Ashley Petchey, prosecuting at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, said police found a bottle of vodka in Turner's inside jacket pocket - but not the same 70cl bottle he drank and stowed in a rucksack inside his vehicle.

He said Turner's demeanour switched from threatening to "hunt down" officers to thanking them - but turned violent after a police station medic suggested he should attend hospital due to the level of alcohol in his system.

Mr Petchey said he kicked an officer's shin as he was loaded into a van to be taken to hospital.

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Turner pleaded guilty to drink-driving and assaulting an emergency worker - having denied both offences at his first court appearance on January 4.

Following an adjournment for the preparation of a pre-sentence report, the probation service said Turner initially "blamed everyone but himself" and claimed police were "heavy-handed", before finally accepting responsibility and showing remorse.

The court heard he was a man of previously good character and a former financial advisor, who turned to alcohol to cope with diagnoses of ill-health, separation from his wife, and being stabbed in a knife-point robbery in 2018.

The court heard that he suffered anxiety and depression, and now claimed benefits, but had sought help for addiction and hoped to attend residential rehabilitation.

Jeremy Kendall, mitigating, said Turner had been "seized" by alcoholism later in life.

He said the threat of jail would act as a powerful deterrent.

Magistrates handed Turner 20 weeks' custody, suspended for two years, with 15 days' rehabilitation, including an alcohol treatment.

He was banned from driving for 36 months and ordered to pay £50 compensation to the officer he assaulted.

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