Boozy crash driver spared jail despite offences

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A booze-fuelled motorist who was involved in a series of offences including driving matters, assaulting a police officer and possessing a weapon in public has been spared from jail.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Thursday, March 3, how Jack Byard, 21, of Argyll Road, Ripley, was followed by another motorist who had concerns about his driving before Byard was involved in a collision which he fled on Ballacraine Drive, Ripley.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said Byard was later arrested during the same day as these driving offences in September, last year, and was found to be more than three-times over the drink-drive limit.

She added: “A member of the public first saw Byard and called police and he followed the defendant and he observed there was a collision and he was seen to leave the scene of the incident.

“Later that day he was arrested and he wasn’t co-operative with police and he needed to be handcuffed.”

The court also heard how Byard later assaulted a police constable in November, last year, and was dealt with in January for possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Mrs Allsop added: “He assaulted a police officer while he was still on bail and in January he was found to be in possession of a bladed article after he had gone out and come home with a kitchen knife.

“All his offences are alcohol-related incidents.”

Byard pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, exceeding the alcohol drink-drive limit, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report the accident, as well as pleading guilty to assaulting a police constable and to possessing a knife.

Defence solicitor Chris Hallas said: “While Mr Byard was on remand in custody he turned 21-years-old. His father says that during the week his son doesn’t drink and he’s a nice lad but at the weekend he drinks heavily and becomes a different person.

“He says all his son’s offending is when he is in drink and he cannot always recall what’s happened. Mr Byard started consuming alcohol when he was 12-years-old and has an alcohol problem that has blighted him.

“He knows he deserves to be punished and while in custody he’s had an opportunity to reflect on his position and he doesn’t want to find himself before the courts again.”

Magistrates stated Byard’s drink-driving offence was aggravated because he had passengers and he caused an accident where people in another car were injured and there was a witness report of unacceptable driving before the collision.

However, magistrates sentenced Byard to 16 weeks of custody suspended for 24 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for 30 months and must pay £100 compensation, £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Magistrates warned Byard that if he commits any further offences in the next two years his suspended sentence could be activated.