Bans For Buggy Driver And St Martin’s Motorist

Magistrates Court at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Magistrates Court at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Two men have been found guilty of drink driving by magistrates on St Mary’s.

In the first case, Carl French Bray, 56, of Hillside, Higher Town, St Martin’s received a 15-month driving ban and was ordered to pay £245 in fines, court costs and victim surcharge after pleading guilty to the charge.

Mr Bray was arrested on St Martin’s on the evening of 20th June. He’d stopped to talk to visiting police officers whilst driving his 4×4 vehicle. The police smelt alcohol on his breath and asked him to take a breathalyser test.

A blood test analysed on the mainland was subsequently found to have 139mg alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg of alcohol.

Mr Bray’s lawyer, David Harvey, said his client was “truly remorseful.” He said his actions came during “the day from hell” after dealing with problems with his holiday business. Mr Bray had been invited for a drink with friends to calm down.

Mr Harvey said a driving ban would have a serious impact on Mr Bray’s business and he asked for leniency in sentencing.

Magistrate Roger Cargeeg said drink driving was still a danger, even on a small island like St Martin’s with limited roads.

Mr Bray was offered the option of a drink-drive rehabilitation course on the mainland, which if completed, will reduce his ban by 3 months.

In the second case, Christopher James Ryan, 24, of Carnwethers Country House, Pelistry, St Mary’s was described by his lawyer, also Mr Harvey, as “probably the unluckiest man on the islands” after a blood test showed he was just 1mg alcohol per 100ml blood over the legal limit of 80mg alcohol.

Mr Ryan was stopped by police in the early hours of Sunday 15th June driving a golf buggy with four other passengers on board on The Parade, St Mary’s.

Magistrate Mr Cargeeg said in his 26 years on the bench, this was the lowest alcohol reading he’d ever had to deal with and he gave Mr Ryan credit for his early guilty plea.

Mr Ryan was given a total of £255 in fines, court costs and victim surcharge, and banned from driving for 12 months.

He was also offered a driver rehabilitation course, which if completed, will reduce his sentence by 3 months.