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Student who crashed Mercedes while almost four times alcohol limit avoids prison

PUBLISHED: 16:29 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:23 11 January 2020

Megan Russell was banned from driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court  Picture: GREGG BROWN

Megan Russell was banned from driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

A student who crashed a Mercedes into a concrete bollard when she was nearly four times the legal limit for alcohol has been banned from the road for two-and-a-half years.

Magistrates in Ipswich heard how Megan Russell, 21, crashed the Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 at the entrance to the car park of Premier Stores in Barrow, near Bury St Edmunds on December 12 just after midday.

The police were called after a witness heard a loud bang and saw the damaged Mercedes enter the car park.

Officers attended and found Russell, a University of East Anglia student, attempting to turn the ignition key of the car - which she was not insured to drive.

The education degree student, of Simpson Way, Barrow, tested positive for alcohol following a roadside breath test and was arrested.

Russell blew 131 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35mcg.

She previously pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle when above the alcohol limit and driving without insurance at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on December 13.

Her sentence was adjourned for an all-options report to be completed by the Probation Service.

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Jeremy Kendall, defending, said Russell was feeling stressed over her university course.

"She accepts driving the short distance from her parents' home to the food store," he said.

"She had come back home from university and was looking after pets while her parents were away.

"She had an assignment she had to do at university and that stress had built up.

"By all accounts this is a one-off offence. She is someone who committed a foolish act, has taken responsibilty and sought the relevant support."

Magistrates opted not to send Russell to prison but banned her from driving for two-and-a-half years.

She was also handed a two-year community order and ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work.

Russell must also pay £105 in costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Her licence was endorsed for the no insurance offence.

Magistrates offered Russell the opportunity of a driver rehabilitation course that will see a 30-week reduction on her ban if completed.

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