A MAN caught drinking and driving for the fifth time has been spared a prison sentence.

Anthony Fitzpatrick, 30, was banned for 52 months last November – but was caught behind the wheel almost twice the drink-drive limit in Colne.


The defendant, who has been given four bans since 2004, has been sent for alcohol treatment by a district judge.

Fitzpatrick, a groundworker who lives in Hol-combe Drive, Burnley, pleaded guilty to driving a Volkswagen Golf on West Street, after drin-king alcohol on August 17 and also driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

District Judge James Clarke extended the defendant’s existing sus-pended prison term of 12 weeks for another 12 months.

He also imposed an additional 16 weeks in custody, again suspended for a year.

Fitzpatrick will also have to undertake 12 months of supervision and six months’ alcohol treatment.

And he must abide to a curfew on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 9pm and 6am and was banned from driving for another three years.

Aisha Akhtarm, prosecuting, said officers spoke to Fitzpatrick and could smell intoxicating liquor on his breath and he was arrested.

The lower of two tests showed 60 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35.

The prosecutor said the defendant had four previous convictions for drink driving. He had been disqualified for 16 mon-ths in 2004, three years in 2006 and three years in 2008.

Last November, he had been banned for 52 months and given 12 weeks in prison, sus-pended for 12 months, for excess alcohol.

Daniel Frazer, defend-ing, said he drove to prevent an altercation at a campsite.

Fitzpatrick claimed he wanted to take a friend away from an argument in which somebody might have suffered a serious injury.

The solicitor said: “He made a rather foolish decision to get into a car.”