‘10 minutes of silliness’ - Drink driver hit Audi, fled scene, then crashed into ditch

PUBLISHED: 14:25 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:25 23 January 2020

Police were called to Gillingham Dam, in Gillingham, to the second crash. Picture: Google Maps

Police were called to Gillingham Dam, in Gillingham, to the second crash. Picture: Google Maps


A drink driver crashed twice in “10 minutes of silliness” which saw his van trapped in a ditch.

Charles Ballard, of Blyburgate in Beccles, crashed his Ford Transit Connect van into an Audi A6 on the A146 at Gillingham before fleeing the scene on November 14 last year.

With police called to the scene, officers were alerted to emergency services responding to a van in a ditch on Gillingham Dam, where they found Ballard being treated by paramedics.

The 27-year-old, who pleaded guilty to drink-driving and failing to stop after a collision when he appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, January 22, was double the legal alcohol limit when he was arrested by officers.

Corrinne Gook-Hurren, prosecuting, said: "At 9.20pm police received reports of a road traffic collision with one of the vehicles driving away at speed.

"Officers were dispatched and found there was a further accident near that location.

"His van was in the ditch off the road and the driver had been taken from the van into an ambulance.

"He appeared to be drunk."

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A roadside breath test was carried out by officers, who found Ballard had 70 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Ballard, a painter and decorator, was taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, before being transported to the Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre.

The 27-year-old, who represented himself during the court proceedings, said: "I found myself in a bit of a stupid situation. I had stopped drinking for a long time but after three days of it this happened.

"It is a big regret. It will never happen again.

"I realise I am not meant to be drinking. I could have hurt someone in those 10 minutes of silliness.

"I have lost my job and haven't been able to see my son. I started my own business three weeks prior but it is now hard to get work without my licence.

"I have cycled to a couple of jobs, but January is always a slow start so I am not too worried at the minute."

Magistrates banned Ballard from driving for 19 months. He was also fined £120 and ordered to pay court costs of £40 and a victim surcharge of £32.

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