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Drink-driving councillor assaulted police officer in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 08:39 24 August 2011 | UPDATED: 12:02 25 August 2011

Andrew Draper leaving Lowestoft Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to drink driving and assaulting on a police officer.

Andrew Draper leaving Lowestoft Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to drink driving and assaulting on a police officer.

Archant © 2011

A newly-elected councillor caught drink driving was yesterday banned from getting behind the wheel for two years and ordered to pay more than £800 by magistrates.

Andrew Draper, 37, of Martin Close, Carlton Colville, was three times over the legal limit when he was stopped by police in Lowestoft.

The Waveney District councillor for the Worlingham ward, who was elected in May 2011, later kicked out at a police inspector – hitting him in the chest and knee – when he tried to put handcuffs on Draper.

Tess Mann, prosecuting at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court yesterday, said Draper was arrested in Beccles Road on August 12 after he was seen “accelerating hard” in a car. Police followed the vehicle and it later overshot two kerbs as it pulled in at the Tesco express service station.

When police asked Mr Draper if he was aware he had “gone across the two kerbs”, he later said: “Do you know I am a councillor?”

Draper was then taken to Lowestoft police station by Insp Stephen Bunn and PC Claire Davey, but on the way he “became agitative” as he tried to make a call on his mobile phone.

PC Davey told Draper he coudn’t use the phone, and the vehicle was soon stopped. Insp Bunn then tried to put handcuffs on Draper, but he was “kicked” firstly in the chest and then “directly on the knee,” according to Mrs Mann.

Spray was then used to “calm” Draper and later, at Lowestoft police station, he gave a breathalyser reading of 107mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

James Hartley, for Draper, said his client – a Lowestoft life-guard – had been based on the town’s south beach during the air show. At the end of the second day of the festival, he had a drink with colleagues, before cycling home. About 11pm, Draper was hungry and with no food in his house, “unfortu-nately, he went to Tesco express by car,” according to Mr Hartley.

Mr Hartley added that Draper “very much regrets his actions” and this was “a very unfortunate lapse”.

Draper, who pleaded guilty to drink driving and assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty, was disqualified from driving” for 24 months and ordered to pay £815 in fines, costs and compensation. He has since resigned from the cabinet, but remains a district councillor.

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