Drink driver had ‘suicidal thoughts’

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A DRINK driver who took to the wheel intending to harm himself has lost his job as a trucker after he was banned from driving.

Darren Ritchie had drunk almost two and a half times the drink-drive limit when his uninsured Ford Focus crashed into the walls of two houses.

Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard he had suicidal thoughts before the incident, which happened at 3.45am on September 6. in Highfield Lane, Newbold, Chesterfield.

Ritchie, aged 24, who had been drinking with a pal, returned home and phoned his ex-partner - resulting in a row.

Defence solicitor Julie Page told the court: “He left in the vehicle to harm himself.

“No doubt because of the alcohol, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the properties.

“It was a sobering experience and he immediately phoned police and waited for them to arrive.”

The court was told Ritchie was discharged from the army following an offence that led to him being locked up.

Ms Page said he worked as an HGV driver but would lose that job because of the inevitable driving ban.

Ritchie, of Dade Avenue, Inkersall, admitted drink-driving and driving without insurance.

He was fined £315, £85 costs and banned for 22 months.