Peterborough drink driver ‘caused devastation’ after late night overtaking manoeuvre went wrong

Home in Dogsthorpe Road hit by a car
Home in Dogsthorpe Road hit by a car

A drink driver who crashed through a wall in a Peterborough street damaging homes has been given a suspended jail term - after the court heard he had been sentenced for drink driving in the past.

Self employed chef Christopher Francis, (46), of Sheepwalk, Paston, Peterborough, lost control of his car on Dogsthorpe Road after attempting to overtake another vehicle late on Friday night.

Francis appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court today (Monday), where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink driving.

He was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from driving for three years, and ordered to pay a surcharge of £115 and costs of £85.

Mike Pryor, prosecuting, said: “At about 11.45pm, the offending vehicle dangerous overtook another road user.

“Francis collided with the other vehicle, and spun across the road and into the boundary wall.

“When he was interviewed he said he had drank two cans of Red Stripe beer half an hour before driving, and a can of Stella two hours before.

“There was damage caused to two houses, three cars a trailer and the wall.

“Witnesses said they saw him driving in excess of the speed limit before the crash.”

Mr Pryor said when interviewed by police Francis said he did not feel he was dangerously over the limit.

He gave a reading of 55mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the legal limit is 35mg in 100ml.

Mr Pryor also told the court Francis had been convicted of drink driving six years ago.

Richard Brown, defending, said: “He was caught drink driving some years ago, and he should have known better. He has been very foolish.”

Mr Brown said Francis worked as a chef providing jerk chicken for the West Indian community.

He said: “When I spoke to him today, he said he understood a wall had been damaged - but he said if someone had been hurt ‘I would not be able to live with myself.’

“This is a gentleman who has been foolish but has had the time to reflect and realised how dangerous this could be.”

A charge of causing criminal damage was withdrawn by the prosecution.

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