Love split RAF driver banned
A ROYAL Air Force logistics driver who was due to be sent to Afghanistan faces the prospect of losing his job after being given a road ban after being caught drinking and driving.
Jack Latham (23) who is based at RAF Wittering near Peterborough decided to go out drinking in the city on March 13 after splitting up with his girlfriend, a court has heard.
Although he returned to the base in a taxi, Latham then decided to drive himself back to Peterborough in his Citroen Saxo car after feeling hungry and choosing to go and buy a takeaway meal.
But, on his way back to the base, an officer noticed Latham driving erratically on the A1 as he approached the camp site and decided to stop him at the entry gates to the base.
The officer was suspicious that Latham had been drinking and decided to call the police.
Latham, who is due to be deployed to Afghanistan later this year, was found to have 90 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - the legal limit is 80 milligrams.
Latham appeared at Peterbor- ough Magistrates’ Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to one offence of drinking driving.
He was banned from driving for 12 months, which will be reduced by three months following the completion of drink drive rehabilitation course.
Latham was also fined £500 and ordered to pay £100 costs.
Rebecca Compton, defending said: “He made a very foolish decision which he very much regrets as it could cost him his career.
“What happened was out of character for him. That evening he decided to out drinking after splitting up with his longterm girlfriend and later decided to get a take away meal.
“This was possibly the most expensive take away meal he has ever bought in terms of the effects the decision may have.
“But this is not the case of a man driving with excess alcohol, he was only just over the legal limit.
“Had he driven out to get the food an hour later he may well have been okay.”
Ms Compton added: “The defendant has been with the RAF for four and a half years, the job is his life and he loves it.
“He is not qualified to do anything else.
“He was due to go to Afghanistan in December this year and has been training towards that assignment.
“However, it goes without saying that he cannot do that without a driving licence.
“The RAF now has a very important decision to make over his future.
“They will either re-assign him to do another job or they will remove him from their books completely.”
Ms Compton said: “The defendant comes to court today in the full knowledge that he will receive a ban from driving.
“He is also extremely remorseful about making a stupid error and wants the court to know he will learn from the experience.
“I would urge that it is in the public interest to make that ban at a minimum level or even beneath that level.”
Nobody from RAF Wittering was available for comment when contacted by The Evening Telegraph about the case yesterday.