WALES – Seven-year driving ban for ‘hammered’ mum on school run

Julie Ann FoxA DEPUTY headmistress grabbed the car keys of a “hammered” mother to stop her driving away having picked up a seven-year-old girl at the end of lessons, a court heard yesterday.Julie Fox, 36, pictured, had a breath alcohol count of 130 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath, nearly four times more than the limit.The court heard it was almost a carbon copy of an offence she committed in 2007, when she had a child of three in her car.

Magistrates at Llandudno handed Fox, a single mother of Ffordd Tan’r Allt, Abergele, an 18-week jail sentence suspended for two years.

She was banned from driving for seven years, sentenced to a six months overnight curfew, must carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £60 costs.

Fox, who admitted drink driving in her X-reg BMW, was told by court chairman Emrys Williams her offence was all the more serious because of the presence of the young girl in the car and because it was outside a school at Abergele, where other children were put at risk.

The long disqualification, he explained, “is for the protection of others”. Fox said she assured the court she would take courses to deal with her alcohol problem.

Karen Dixon, prosecuting, said deputy head Kate Richards had told the defendant: “Julie, I can’t let you take her.”

Mrs Dixon said it was a teaching assistant who had first spotted Fox’s condition, warning: “She’s hammered.”

Ms Richards then took the car keys before telling the girl to walk into the school. Fox pleaded with her not to call the police but the court heard the teacher was left with no alternative.

The court heard Fox then said: “I’m in trouble, I’m for prison now.”

When arrested she declared: “Oh my God, that’s really serious isn’t it? That’s jail.”

She said she’d had three or four “standard glasses” of white wine.

Mrs Dixon told the court that in March 2007 Fox’s car had collided with a van at Colwyn Bay, again when she had a child inside and when she appeared to be drunk.

On that occasion her breath alcohol count was 120 microgrammes, and she received a two-month community order, a four-month curfew and was banned from the road for 32 months.

Defence solicitor Craig Hutchinson said Fox hadn’t tried to minimise the seriousness of her offence and had pleaded guilty from the outset.

He claimed she had given up drinking after her last conviction and trained for several months to work in a care home.

Despite a previous assurance that she could work, she was told that because of the conviction she could not and Mr Hutchinson said this caused her to revert to drinking.

“When problems arise she turns to drink and finds herself doing things that are stupid and slipshod,” said Mr Hutchinson.

But he said that, according to Fox, who receives jobseeker’s allowance, she does not drink on a daily basis.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://operationfatherhood.org/other/improper-parenting/wales-seven-year-driving-ban-for-hammered-mum-on-school-run/