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Prison for Sutton Bridge drink driver

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The owner of a vehicle recovery firm has been sent to prison for seven months after pleading guilty to three drink driving offences, two of which seriously injured him.

Sean Flanagan (32), of Wharf Street, Sutton Bridge – but currently residing at an address in King's Lynn – admitted two offences of driving under the influence of alcohol and one of failing to provide a specimen for analysis, when he appeared at Boston Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Prosecuting, Marie Stace said that Flanagan was already subject to a 17 weeks suspended prison sentence imposed for assault and a public order offence in June 2020.

Boston Magistrates' Court (46451552)
Boston Magistrates' Court (46451552)

She said, at 7.45pm on August 10 last year, he was driving a Ford S_Max car in James Road, Crowland when he crossed into the oncoming lane, hit a vehicle and flipped over.

He was taken to hospital with injuries and initially denied being the driver but a blood sample was taken with a reading of 190 micrograms of alcohol in his blood, the legal limit being 80.

Ms Stace said that at 5.30am on December 11, Flanagan was found by his car stopped on the side verge with its engine running but refused to give any sample, was aggressive towards the police and was arrested.

In the third incident, just five days later on December 16, this time driving a Volkswagen car belonging to a customer, he crossed the carriageway and collided with another car and a heavy goods vehicle, which left him with serious injuries.

Ms Stace said an empty vodka bottle was found in the car he had been driving.

At hospital he gave a blood sample which gave a reading of 87 micrograms of alcohol in his bloodstream, the legal limit being 80.

Mitigating, Alison Muir said a break-up had led to his seeking solace in alcohol more and more.

She said the suspended sentence order contained an alcohol treatment order which had not been implemented because of the pandemic.

She said he had serious injuries as a result of the collisions, including a broken spine, neck and brain injuries.

She said Flanagan could go some time without drinking alcohol but then he would have a drink thinking he could handle it but clearly couldn't.

The Probation Service said he posed a "high risk to the public" because of his failure to respond to treatment for his excessive use of alcohol and had shown no real motivation to reduce his alcohol use.

Sentencing him to 12 weeks in prison for each of the three alcohol offences and four weeks in prison for breaching the conditional discharge, to be served concurrently, and implementing the 17 weeks suspended sentence to be served consecutively – a total of 29 weeks – the magistrates said the "root cause of all offences was alcohol".

He was also banned from driving for 40 months but was offered the drink drivers' rehabilitation course which will reduce the period of the ban by 40 weeks.

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