Boston-area driver who was four-and-a-half times the limit went to get more alcohol after wife left him, court told

An agricultural engineer was four-and-a-half times the legal drink-drive limit when he took his work van to buy more alcohol after his wife left him, a court has been told.

Boston Magistrates' Court.
Boston Magistrates' Court.

Christopher Benjamin, 36, of Claymond Court, Frampton, admitted driving with excess alcohol last year when he appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Magistrates heard that Benjamin was seen driving his work VW Transporter van erratically by a member of the public at 2.15pm on Sunday, December 19.

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Marie Stace, prosecuting, said he was seen to be veering all over the road, hitting a roadside pole.

He then turned into his own road, where he reversed into a brick wall, then got out and went into his home, she continued.

The court was told police arrived and Benjamin was arrested after providing a positive breath test with a reading so high he was taken to hospital. There, he provided a blood sample which tested at 360 milligrammes of alcohol – the legal limit being 80mlg.

In mitigation, Philippa Chatterton said Benjamin was 'genuinely devastated' being in court and had lost his job of 18 years because of it. She said that although it was a work vehicle, he had not been at work at the time.

She said alcohol had 'become a problem for him' and he had been drinking more because of pain from a back problem and also because his wife had just left him because of his drinking.

Ms Chatterton said he had been drinking more because he had not been at work at the time and had taken the van to buy more alcohol. But she said he had immediately sought help after the incident and had now gone 67 days without drinking alcohol and was cycling to work at his new job.

After hearing a report from the Probation Service, the magistrates said they had heard about the efforts he had made to deal with his alcohol issues, but that a custodial sentence was inevitable, although they could suspend it.

Benjamin was given a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay court costs and charges totalling £213. He was also banned from driving for three years.

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