Potters Bar van driver banned from getting behind the wheel

PUBLISHED: 11:16 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:27 22 November 2017

St Albans Crown Court. Picture: Danny Loo

St Albans Crown Court. Picture: Danny Loo

Archant

A van driver who had drunk eight pints of lager when he sped off from the police in Potters Bar was told by a judge that he was extremely lucky not to be going to prison.

Joshua Sullivan, 28, already had two convictions for drink driving and one for driving while banned, when police in a marked car spotted him behind the wheel in Potters Bar High Street.

Prosecutor David Ryan told St Albans Crown Court he was heading towards the Great North Road at excessive speed at around one o’clock in the morning on Sunday, September 3.

The police put on sirens and lights and were joined in a four-minute chase by an unmarked car.

Sullivan headed towards Brookmans Park, driving at over 60mph on the wrong side of the road.

At the junction with Church Road he went around a bend on the wrong side.

He entered Hawkshead Road on the wrong side, mounted the pavement and came to a halt.

Mr Ryan said he gave a positive roadside breath test, but when he was taken to Hatfield police station, could not give a breath test.

Sullivan, of Hawkshead Road, Potters Bar, appeared for sentence last Tuesday having pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen.

He had three convictions for six offences, which included two offences of drink driving and one of driving while disqualified.

In a probation report Sullivan stated he had downed eight pints of lager in a seven-hour period.

Defending, Victoria Meads said the previous offences were some time ago and came after the death of his father.

The current offences were in the run up to the 10-year anniversary of his death.

She said he acknowledged he needed help with his drinking and had referred himself to a counsellor.

“He knows it was luck that nobody was hurt,” she said.

Ms Meads said it happened in the early hours of the morning and the course of driving was very short.

She said Sullivan lived with his mother and was in full-time work.

Recorder Leslie Cuthbert told him: “Driving a car after having anything to drink at all is a danger.

“You spent seven hours in pub consuming eight pints of lager.

“You drove at excessive speed at more than twice the speed limit.

“There was a short chase and you were on the wrong side of the road when you went around a blind corner.

“Whatever your reason for consuming alcohol does not justify getting into the vehicle and setting off.”

The judge passed a four-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Sullivan must receive six months alcohol treatment from CGL, attend 30 days’ rehabilitation activity and carry out 120 hours’ unpaid work in the next 12 months.

He was ordered to pay £500 costs and was banned from driving for three years.

He must take an extended driving test before he regains his licence.

The judge told him: “Consider yourself extreme lucky.

“You must not drive a vehicle during the disqualification or you will go straight to prison.”

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