Grantham court: Drink driver close to going to prison

Send your news to the Journal. E-mail:
Send your news to the Journal. E-mail:
Have your say

A motorist came close to going to prison after he breached a suspended sentence by drink driving.

Mark Devereux, 31, of Huntingtower Road, Grantham, admitted drink driving on March 27 as well as driving without a licence and without insurance.

Prosecuting, Daniel Pietryka told the court that Devereux was stopped by police on Harrowby Road at 3am when they saw the car being driven in a “poor manner”. Devereux failed a roadside breath test and a further test at the police station gave a reading of 57 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Defending, Chris Pye-Smith said Devereux had been in employment until last year when he lost his job and then became homeless, having problems claiming benefits and was without money. He then took to shoplifiting and in 2013 was given a community order. Mr Pye-Smith said in a short period of time Devereux had gone from having no offences recorded against him to a series of six shoplifting offences. In December he was handed a 28-day jail sentence suspended for nine months.

Devereux has since found a job with a local stonemason. Mr Pye-Smith said: “He says he is very happy doing something useful and something he enjoys. He would be devastated if he was sent into custody. He would lose his employment and his accommodation and could end up back where he started when he was unemployed and homeless.”

Magistrates told Devereux they would not activate the suspecnded sentence and give him a chance to get back to normality.They disqualified him from driving for 16 months and fined him £200 for drink driving. They fined him another £200 for driving without insurance and ordeed him to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20. There was no separate penalty for driving without a licence. His nine-month community order was extended by three months.

Devereux could reduce his ban by four months if he successfully completes a drink driving rehabilitation course.

Devereux thanked the bench for giving him a “lifeline” and apologised to probation officers for wasting their time.