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Tractor driver jailed for drunkenly travelling wrong way up Esplanade

Tractor driver jailed for drunkenly travelling wrong way up Esplanade

Saturday 23 July 2022

Tractor driver jailed for drunkenly travelling wrong way up Esplanade

Saturday 23 July 2022


A farm worker from the Philippines, who drove the wrong way up the Esplanade while under the influence of alcohol, has been sent to prison for a month and lost his job and accommodation.

39-year-old Percival Bueno Sanchez, who is seven months in on a nine-month contract as a tractor driver at a local farm, told the court he had gone to town "for a couple of pints".

He then told the court that because he was "new to the island" and "unfamiliar with local roads", on leaving town heading out west, he drove down the Esplanade against the flow of traffic.

When he noticed his mistake at the traffic lights, he reversed and then got in the correct lane.

Police officers monitoring cameras at their Green Street HQ, noticed what was happening and went to arrest him. 

It was just before ten in the evening, and when police stopped Sanchez at Rouge Bouillon his car had no lights on. He was taken back to the station and breathalysed.

He was found to have 72 micrograms of alcohol per 1,000ml of alcohol in his breath, twice the legal drink drive limit.

Defence Advocate Francesca Pinel asked the court to impose a fine and not to ban Sanchez from driving because of the knock on-effects it would have. If he could not drive then he would lose his job, and because his accommodation was tied to his job, he would also be homeless.

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Pictured: Driving the wrong way down the Esplanade led Sanchez to the Magistrate's Court and prison.

According to Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris, it was likely Sanchez had had "more than two pints" and that because Sanchez was not in a position to pay a large fine he had no choice but to send him to prison for a month. He was also disqualified from driving in the island for 18 months.

Sanchez told the court he had always intended leaving the island after his contract, but he will now have to leave a month earlier.

Summing up, Assistant Magistrate Harris told Sanchez this is "not a happy ending to your time in Jersey".

However, since the sentencing, Sanchez's boss John Le Seelleur has confirmed that, contrary to comments made in court, Sanchez will be given work back on the farm when he's released on 5 August - although he won't be able to drive a tractor.

"There was no way I would throw a man out on the street," he said.

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