Scaffolder who built pub grandstand caught drink driving for fifth time during World Cup
PUBLISHED: 18:57 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:57 17 July 2018
The scaffolder who built the grandstand where hundreds of fans watched the World Cup at Dereham’s Railway Tavern has had his fifth drink-driving conviction after he “got caught up in the moment” during England’s clash with Belgium.
Thomas Taylor has now been banned from driving for four years after being caught by an off-duty police officer almost three times the drink-drive limit on Dereham Road, Norwich, in the early hours of June 29.
The 49-year-old’s licence had been revoked at the time on medical grounds.
Prosecutor Victoria Bastock told Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday how a police officer who “just finished his shift” had seen a Vauxhall on the A47 “travelling at speed” before making several attempts to reverse into a driveway off Dereham Road.
At court he admitted driving with 99mcg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 35.
Damien Moore, mitigating, told the court Taylor had “abstained completely” from alcohol after two weeks in rehab in early 2017, funded by Norfolk Recovery Partnership.
He said the previous drink driving offences dated back to the 1990s when he “had an issue with alcohol”.
“Mr Taylor is a scaffolder and he was responsible for designing and constructing the charity football stand at the Railway Tavern in Dereham,” Mr Moore told the court. “He put a lot of time into that project for a very good cause. On 28 June he watched the game and got caught up in the moment.
“His lift home let him down and he tried in vain to order a taxi. He made the reckless and stupid decision to drive home.”
He added Taylor “knows he has let himself down hugely and will pay the penalty for a long time”.
“This is not him slipping back into his old ways,” he told the court. “It is a blip. He has to accept his problem has never gone away completely, but he is facing up to it which is positive.”
Chairman of the bench Jean Bonnick told Taylor: “I hope with the help of probation you are able to address your alcohol problem. Drinking is obviously still an issue in your life.”
Taylor, of Nelson Court, Watton, was given a 12 month community order with a requirement of 20 rehabilitation days, a victim surcharge of £85 and court costs of £85.