A MAN risked a spell behind bars when he was caught drink driving eight days after receiving a suspended prison sentence.

Jason Turnbull was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after admitting charges of possessing an offensive weapon in public and affray, at Durham Crown Court, on April 4.

But he was back before the court today (Tuesday May 27) after admitting a charge of driving with excess alcohol days later at a recent magistrates’ court hearing.

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As the offence put him in breach of the suspended sentence, the magistrates committed the case to be sentenced at the crown court.

Adrian Dent, prosecuting, told the crown court thatTurnbull was stopped while at the wheel of a Ford Transit van, on the A182 between Houghton-le-Spring and Hetton-le-Hole, at about 10.30pm, on Saturday, April 12.

The court heard Turnbull, who had a child with him in the vehicle at the time, gave police a breath test sample with a reading of 98mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, compared to the limit for driving of 35mg.

Jane Waugh, mitigating, said his only previous similar offence dated back almost a decade.

She told the court that the 39-year-old roofer, of Keir Hardie Terrace, Shotton Colliery, County Durham, is in work, and arrangements can be made for him to be picked up by colleagues should he have to serve a driving disqualification.

Miss Waugh told the court that although Turnbull does not usually drink during the day, his problems have stemmed from “binge drinking” at times.

Recorder Jeremy Hill-Baker told Turnbull that the imposition of a suspended sentence at the court on April 4 should have served as a warning.

He told Turnbull: “Yet, eight days later you were driving while almost three times over the limit, leaving me with a very stark choice, whether or not to revoke the suspended sentence and send you to prison for driving with excess alcohol.

“You had a child in your vehicle when you were caught drink driving, which is an aggravating feature, while, on the other hand, it’s almost ten years since your last such offence and you appear to be a hard-working man.

“Your problem is your binge drinking, which brings you in conflict with the law.

“I hope you realise you need to address it.”

Recorder Hill-Baker imposed a one-year community order during which Turnbull must perform 150 hours’ unpaid work and undergo an alcohol specific activity probation programme.

He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £340 costs, plus £60 statutory surcharge.