Un­cle of tragic tot jailed for drink-driv­ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

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.

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