Mum in plea to drivers to steer clear of alcohol

A mother has made an impassioned plea to Christmas revellers to consider the story of her teenage daughter's tragic death before drink-driving this festive season.

A mother has made an impassioned plea to Christmas revellers to consider the story of her teenage daughter's tragic death before drink-driving this festive season.

Angela Took said she wanted to back the region's festive drink-drive campaigns in memory of her 18-year-old daughter Carla, who died in a road crash caused by a man estimated to be up to twice the legal alcohol limit.

Carla, of Oulton Broad, died along with Lowestoft sisters Claire and Jenny Stoddart, aged 18 and 15 respectively, after Ben Morphey lost control of his car on the A12, near Blythburgh.

Morphey was jailed for eight-and-a-half years, but had his sentence reduced by two years at the Court of Appeal last week.


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Mrs Took, 49, said: "The Christmas campaigns are so important because of the potential consequences of drinking and driving.

"I have lost the daughter I absolutely adored and loved through no fault of her own, all because somebody had that extra drink. Please don't do it.

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"My personal opinion, even before I lost Carla, was that if you're going to drive you shouldn't drink at all because alcohol affects people in so many different ways. It's something I feel very strongly about."

Last week, people were warned of the potentially devastating consequences of drink-driving when police forces in Suffolk and Norfolk launched their annual festive campaigns. Traffic officers will be out in force over the coming weeks and have warned drivers to expect severe action if they are caught over the limit.

Mrs Took added: "It's important to get the message across to people who may think they are invincible.

"I'm quite willing to speak out.

"When you've brought up your own child to be responsible, to then lose her through someone else's total irresponsibility makes it so much harder.

"If I saw someone about to drink and drive I would like to think I would have the courage to go over to them and point out what happened to me."

Carla, Claire and Jenny had all been talented pupils at the Benjamin Britten High School, in Lowestoft, and were at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Ipswich in the hours before the tragedy on July 1, 2006.

The Vauxhall Astra being driven by Claire was heading back to Lowestoft when Morphey, 23, of High Street, Yoxford, lost control of his car travelling in the opposite direction.

The horrific crash also killed two people in his car and injured two youngsters in the Astra.

Morphey was jailed last June after admitting five counts of causing death by careless driving while unfit due to alcohol, but his sentence was controversially cut to six-and-a-half years on Friday.

"The appeal happened on the day the campaigns start-ed, so it sent out the wrong message," added Mrs Took.

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