Drink-driver who crashed into pub sentenced

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 July 2015


An Exmouth woman was nearly four times the drink-drive limit, when she crashed her car into a pub, at 6am.

Mum-of-two Carol-Anne Kelsall-Spurr, 49, of Bunn Road, Exmouth, admitted drink-driving when she appeared at Exeter Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Kelsall-Spurr lost control of her blue Ford Fiesta on a roundabout and ploughed into the George and Dragon, near Topsham.

Kelsall-Spurr told police she recalled waking up and having two glasses of wine and eating some toast before setting off for work in Cullompton, at 5.30am on Sunday, June 28.

The court heard she and her husband are directors of a busy sandwich-making company, but there were staff shortages which meant she had to go to work early that day.

When she was breath-tested by police, Kelsall-Spurr blew a reading of 135 microgrammes of alcohol. The legal limit is 35mg.

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker said police were called to the pub following reports of a single vehicle crash.

Miss Baker said the driver was unhurt but she told officers her car had ‘clipped the kerb and she had lost control’.

Police said she smelt of alcohol and her eyes were glazed.

Miss Baker said: “The lower of the two breath readings was 135mg of alcohol.

“She admitted driving the car from her home address at 5.30am.

“She recalls waking up and drinking two glasses of wine and eating some toast before she drove to work.”

Lynda Hodgson, defending, said her client was stressed with work issues.

She said: “She has been doing various roles in the business and that is why she was going to work so early to prepare sandwiches because of a shortage of staff.”

Mrs Hodgson said the family had enjoyed just one week off together for a holiday in the last 14 years, and told the court Kelsall-Spurr had become ‘drink dependent to hide the stress’.

She said Kelsall-Spurr, having had some drink with her dinner, had gone to bed, woken early, drunk two large glasses of wine, and returned to bed. She got up when the alarm went off and had some toast, but had not realised how short the time had been between drinking the glasses of wine and getting up.

Mrs Hodgson said Kelsall-Spurr’s husband ‘was unaware that his wife had been drinking secretly’ but the court heard she has not touched a drop since the crash more than two weeks ago and has also sought help of her own volition to tackle alcohol issues.

Exeter magistrates said the case was so serious and the reading so high that it merited a custodial sentence.

Kelsall-Spurr was jailed for eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs of £315. She was also banned from driving for three years.

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