Drink-driver caught for sixth time sent to jail

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The Independent Online
A SIXTH-TIME drink-driver already under a 10-year ban when caught drunk behind the wheel again, was jailed for the maximum six months yesterday and disqualified for 12 years.

Three glasses of complimentary wine at an art gallery exhibition had taken Terence Ellis over the limit, Marlborough Street magistrates' court, London, was told.

However, the magistrate John Nichols told him: 'Nothing more could have been said on your behalf in what is a hopeless situation. But at the end of the day, the court is absolutely and clearly of the opinion that you are a grave threat to public safety.'

Mr Nichols added: 'This is at least your sixth alcohol-related offence and the third time that you have been caught driving while disqualified.'

Ellis, 48, of Hanwell, west London, admitted driving a company car in central London while banned, without insurance and with excess alcohol in his breath. He was breathalysed after going against a traffic sign, and was found to have an alcohol count of 62 micrograms - eight points short of double the limit.

Ellis, an official of the Intercommunications Trust, which publishes material for the homeless and people who are HIV-positive, was meeting a journalist in the West End.

Gerry White, for the defence, said Ellis borrowed the car from the trust as he was late and wanted to impress the journalist by dropping him off at the station.