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Crime

VIDEO: Watch shocking footage of drink-driver speeding through Southgate, Crawley

The driver pleaded guilty to four offences including driving without a valid licence and driving without insurance.

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Footage captured on a drink-driver’s own dash cam, demonstrates how alcohol can seriously affect your ability to perform a seemingly routine task.

It shows how the black Mercedes ML320 enters Cheals Roundabout in Crawley at speed, before mounting the roundabout, narrowly missing a white van, then veering off to the nearside and hitting a pole.

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The driver, who was uninsured and had no valid licence, then continues for a couple of miles before acknowledging a burst tyre, which causes him to stop.

A statement from Sussex Police said: “Police on patrol spotted the vehicle stationary on Brighton Road, near Pease Pottage, about 1.15am on Thursday 7 June, and pulled over to assist.”

The driver was identified as unemployed 20-year-old, Jordan Johnstone, of Staplefield Road, Handcross.

He was required to undergo a roadside breath test for alcohol, which he failed, and he was subsequently charged with driving with 104mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, driving without due care and attention, driving without a valid licence and driving without insurance.

At Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 4 September, Johnstone pleaded guilty to all four offences and was sentenced to a 12-month community order. He was also disqualified from driving for 36 months, and ordered to pay £200 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.

Investigating officer, Sergeant Chris Glasspool, said:

“This footage demonstrates just how dangerous and irresponsible drink-driving is. Being under the influence of alcohol can seriously impair your ability to drive, as is clearly shown here, and it’s extremely fortunate Johnstone didn’t injure himself or anyone else.

“There’s simply no excuse for it. If you’re going to drink, leave your car at home; book a taxi, take public transport or get a lift with someone sober. Don’t risk it, we can assure you it’s not worth it.

“Every year in Sussex people are killed or seriously injured as a result of drink or drug-driving. Just think the next time you drive under the influence, you could kill yourself, a friend or a family member. Try living with that on your conscious.

“Our message is simple: drink OR drive, never both.”

If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:

  • A minimum 12 month ban;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • A possible prison sentence;
  • A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
  • An increase in your car insurance;
  • Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.
  • People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website.
  • You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

Crime

Man jailed for stealing charity collection tins

A man who broke into a café and stole three charity collection tins has been jailed.

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Police were alerted to the break-in at The Conservatory Café in North Street, Horsham, about 11.30pm on Monday 13 May.

Smashed windows and traces of blood were discovered at the scene and a witnesses described a man acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the offence.

Due to the description provided and the information received, a suspect was nominated.

A PCSO on patrol spotted the suspect in Hurst Road about 7pm the following evening (14 May) and noticed he had cuts on his hand consistent with a recent injury.

The suspect was identified as Kieran Blunden, 33, unemployed, of no fixed address.

Further officers attended to assist, and Blunden was arrested and charged with burglary.

He was remanded in custody to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 16 May, where he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £50 in compensation.

Blunden also admitted stealing a charity box from the Cancer Research shop in West Street, Horsham, on 14 May, and this offence was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Investigations Supervisor Dave Bell said:

“Blunden’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence committed and takes into account his previous offending history.

“This was a diabolical offence whereby the defendant has stolen from the most vulnerable in our community.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved for helping to bring him to justice – from the café owner who initially reported it, to the witness who provided a good description of the suspect, and the PCSO whose local knowledge ultimately led to Blunden being identified and arrested.”

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