A man from South Wales has been jailed after drink driving and narrowly avoiding ploughing into a pub play area full of children.
David Pugh, prosecuting, showed Cardiff Crown Court CCTV footage of the incident in which the Newport man’s van screeched toward terrified children and parents before stopping just short.
The maintenance worker had been driving just after 8pm on Sunday, June 24 when he hit a kerb and burst through the central reservation. His van ended up on the opposite side of the carriageway next to the pub before he attempted to make his escape in the damaged vehicle.
Police found him a short while later in a bush with his mobile phone and an unopened bottle of beer.
Following his arrest, a breath test showed the man to have 107mcg alcohol per 100ml breath – more than three times the legal drink driving limit of 35mcg.
This latest offence put him in breach of three previous community orders, all related to alcohol.
The defendant had suffered a family tragedy, including the loss of a son, and now suffered from alcohol problems, the court heard.
The man had two previous convictions for drink driving from 2008 and 2015, and in February of this year had been convicted of criminal damage – using a watering can to smash windows of a church in Bristol, causing £10,000 worth of damage.
He was also found guilty of a public order offence at a Harvester Restaurant in Bristol, where he spat in the face of another customer and threatened a police officer with the same.
Following that, he racked up another criminal damage offence while “intoxicated”, punching a wall at his mother’s home and assaulting a police officer.
Mitigating, Harry Baker asked that his client’s guilty plea be taken into consideration.
Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: “You drove perilously close to a children’s playing area and a beer garden where people were in the sunshine enjoying food and drink.”
Recognising the defendant’s “personal tragedy” he said: “It must have had a devastating effect on you, and still does.
“But, you simply cannot continue going on behaving the way you have.
“Since the tragedy, you have lost all self-respect and control. You have become alcohol dependent.
“You put your own life in danger and the lives of other children.”
After pleading guilty to drink driving and dangerous driving, Judge Jenkins jailed the man for 14 months, banned him from driving for three years and seven months, and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge.
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