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Man found guilty of drink and drug driving after crashing car on Christmas Eve

Jay Barter was sentenced for drink and drug driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Jay Barter was sentenced for drink and drug driving at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

A Suffolk man who claimed he consumed alcohol and cocaine after crashing his car has been convicted of drink and drug driving.

Jay Barter, 42, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich on Wednesday after pleading not guilty to drink driving and drug driving following an incident on Christmas Eve last year.

At trial, the court heard how police were called to an address in Clare, near Sudbury, and on arrival found a Mazda car in Stoke Road which was significantly damaged and appeared to have hit another vehicle.

A partially empty bottle of wine was found in the footwell of the unlocked vehicle.

Police then attended a house in Aragon Court, Clare, where officers found Barter in the kitchen, who had sustained injuries to his head and face.

Police said Barter was "clearly under the influence" and a breath test was administered. He was subsequently arrested around 3.30am and taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds where a blood alcohol test was administered.

Barter was found to have 179 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - more than twice the legal limit - and 304 microgrammes of the cocaine derivative benzolecgonine in his system.

Giving evidence at Suffolk Magistrates' Court, Barter said he had been at his friend's house on December 23 from 7.50pm until around 11pm and in that time had consumed only one can of Strongbow cider.

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After arriving home, he consumed another can of Strongbow and then got into an argument with his now ex-partner.

He left the house at 1.30am and drove to Clare Country Park, before leaving the park at 2am.

On the drive home from Clare Country Park to his home, Barter crashed the car into a parked vehicle and street furniture.

After arriving home in a state of shock, Barter claimed he "downed" a bottle of wine from the fridge before taking three gulps from a bottle of gin. He also admitted taking cocaine after the crash.

Dino Barricella, defending, said Barter had no previous convictions and was of good character.

Addressing magistrates, Mr Barricella said: "You have heard no direct evidence whatsoever that, at the time of driving, Mr Barter had been drinking or taking drugs that would render him over the legal limit."

Magistrates found Barter, who gave his address in court as Norton Road, Tostock, guilty of both charges.

Barter was disqualified from driving for 22 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order.

He was also ordered to undertake 80 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 rehabilitation activity days.

He must also pay the court £620 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85.

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