Uncle of tragic tot jailed for drink-driving
THE grief-stricken uncle of a toddler killed on a city level crossing has been jailed after being caught driving more than four times over the drink drive limit.
Jerry Connors (34), of Foxcovert Road, Peakirk, Peterborough, told the court he turned to drink after losing two-year-old nephew John Hall in a tragic accident in September last year.
The toddler – known as Johnny – ran from his mother and made his way through a gate onto the rail lines at Foxcovert crossing, in Werrington, close to where the youngster’s relatives, including Connors, lived.
He was killed by an oncoming train as his mother tried desperately to reach him.
Yesterday, Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how Connors had become so stressed by the tragedy that he needed two cans of beer in the morning to allow him to face the day ahead .
Despite the large amount of alcohol he had drunk before getting behind the wheel on June 3 this year, he still carried two passengers in his Peugeot 306 .
When police stopped the vehicle on Lincoln Road, Werrington, a breath test revealed Connors had 143mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – more than four times the legal limit of 35mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
Connors pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol at the court hearing yesterday.
District Judge Ken Sheraton sentenced him to 12 weeks in prison, and disqualified him from driving for six years.
Giles Beaumont, prosecuting, said; “Police spotted Connors driving the car at noon on June 3 and pulled the car over.
“Connors was not driving erratically, but has three similar convictions against him in the past.”
Defending, Simon Milburn, said: “Connors accepts he has alcohol problems and that his drinking gets worse at the times of stress.
“He lives in a caravan on a road which contains a number of other members of his family.
“This included his nephew, who died in an accident on the train tracks last year.”
Mr Milburn said Connors had also been suffering stress because of health problems his pregnant wife was experiencing.
He said: “His wife also had a number of problems with a pregnancy and the build up of stress made his drinking worse.
“He found that he needed a couple of cans of beer in the morning before he could face the day.
“There was no suggestion of obvious bad driving, but there was always the risk there could have been had he driven further.”
Sentencing, District Judge Sheraton told Connors he had risked his passengers’ lives.
He said: “I am not concerned with his drinking – I am concerned with his driving.
“You chose to drive a car carrying two passengers when you had consumed in excess of four times the drink-drive limit.
“You put both your passengers and the public at risk.”
TRAGIC: Johnny Hall.