Jail for Colne drinker who crashed and wrote off car

THOUGHTLESS Gavin O'Hara

THOUGHTLESS Gavin O'Hara

First published in Pendle by , Court reporter

A DRINK driver who crashed and wrote off his car as he ‘drunkenly careered’ along the road in the early hours, has been jailed for 36 weeks.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Gavin O’Hara, 28, was subject to a suspended jail term when he got behind the wheel for the second time while over the limit.

O’Hara had also been under supervision by the probation service and on the Thinking Skills programme, but a judge said he appeared to have learned nothing from the help given him and wasn’t thinking at all when it really mattered.

O’Hara, said to still think it was acceptable to drink to excess, had got the suspended term in December 2011, for alcohol-related trouble, when he had abused door staff on a night out, tried to punch one of them and was said to have pulled a screwdriver out of his pocket.

He had received nine months in prison, suspended for two years, with supervision, after being convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence.

The father-of- two, of Colne Lane, Colne, had recently admitted driving with excess alcohol, no licence and no insurance, in breach of the suspended term. He had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates. The defendant was banned from driving for three years.

Katherine Pierpoint, for O’Hara, said he accepted alcohol was the problem.

The defendant had stopped drinking but he and his partner had been to see friends in Keighley, His partner had driven there and they had a fall-out. His partner threw the car keys at him and he stupidly decided to drive back.

Miss Pierpoint added the defendant had not run away from the accident scene.

Sentencing, Judge Christopher Cornwall said O’Hara’s behaviour was ‘indicative of somebody who has really learned nothing during the hours of supervision and the Thinking Skills programme’.

The judge said: “Alcohol continues to dog you. You still think it’s acceptable to drink to excess and when you drink to excess you behave badly.”

He added: “Once again, you were drunk. You had a stupid argument and behaved in a manner which could have resulted in death or serious injury to somebody crossing the road, driving a vehicle or riding a bike at just the wrong moment, when you are drunkenly careering along the road.”

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