Drink-driver avoids jail

DESPITE being caught drink-driving for the sixth and seventh times, an Ipswich man has yet again avoided going to jail.

Michael Anthony Pritchard was breathalysed in June, recording 0.089, and then five months later had another reading of 0.188.

Pritchard’s licence had been disqualified by a court and they marked his sixth and seventh offences of drink-driving since 1992, with many of them high readings.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to drink-driving, driving under the influence of liquor and two charges of disqualified driving.

He was sentenced to six months jail, wholly suspended for two years, and nine months jail with immediate release on parole.

Pritchard’s licence was disqualified for six years and three months.

Magistrate Donna MacCallum told Pritchard she was not letting him off lightly.

“I propose to give you a chance,” Ms MacCallum said.

“You might think you’re doing very well by leaving here today but this is a hard road ahead.

“Whether you’re prepared to stay off the wagon is up to you.”

Ms MacCallum said Pritchard’s traffic history was “appalling”.

“Frankly, at 37 years old you probably should have come to terms with this by now and been able to deal with it,” she said.

Defence barrister Christopher O’Meara said the qualified fitter and turner had a long-standing drinking problem and was deeply affected by his parents separating when he was 16.

But Mr O’Meara said Pritchard was seeking help and had the support of his pregnant partner, who had insisted he sell the car.

“He’s been on a bicycle and has come off it and has done his ACL,” Mr O’Meara said.

“He needs a knee reconstruction.”

Mr O’Meara urged Ms MacCallum to consider a suspended sentence.



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