Van driver caught 23 times the limit for ketamine banned from roads for a year

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A builder caught 23 times the drug-drive limit for ketamine has been banned from the roads for 12 months.

Alexander Crowe had been living "in isolation" in a caravan at the start of the year, working for an "unscrupulous" company, Norwich Magistrates Court heard on Friday.

And on January 26, a police officer pulled Crowe over after spotting the van he was driving was not insured.

Prosecutor Stacie Cossey told the court Crowe was caught up with at Stow Bedon when the officer signalled for him to pull over.

"The driver was initially confused as the van stopped in the middle of the lanes on the main road, then turned into a side road," said Ms Cossey.

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"She approached the driver and enquired about the insurance, when it became apparent he was under the influence of something.

"She conducted a roadside breath test which he failed and a search produced a small bag containing ketamine in the pocket of his jacket."

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Crowe, 30, was taken to a police station where tests revealed a reading of 475ug per litre of blood.

The legal limit is 20.

Crowe admitted possession of ketamine, driving without insurance and drug-driving.

Alistair Taunton, mitigating for him, said it was "an incident he bitterly regrets because it is going to have a major knock-on effect".

"At the time he was living in isolation in a caravan and working as a builder for a company that could at best be described as unscrupulous," he said.

"He became more and more depressed living on his own, working for a company which wasn't going very well. His mental health was suffering.

"He hadn't used ketamine for five months but matters got so bad he started using it again as a way to block out his problems.

"In February he asked his parents if they would help. He returned to the family home and took professional help with a private counsellor.

"In July he was offered a part time job with a local builder which involves travelling around East Anglia.

"He just wishes he had done this before the incident rather than as a result of it."

Crowe, of King Street, New Buckenham, was banned from driving for a year and fined £200, with £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

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