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“This was a tragedy that nearly happened”

“This was a tragedy that nearly happened”

Sunday 26 March 2023

“This was a tragedy that nearly happened”

Sunday 26 March 2023

A recently bereaved man who drove with three people in his car while drunk was told the incident was a “tragedy that nearly happened” by a Magistrate, as he was sentenced to prison at his own request.

In addition to five months at HMP La Moye, 56-year-old Richard Beaumont was banned from driving in Jersey for three years in the Magistrate’s Court this week.

Advocate Adam Harrison, prosecuting, explained that Beaumont had driven along St. Andrew's Road on the afternoon of 23 July last year with three passengers. All of them had been drinking.

Police officers stopped Beaumont at 14:30. When he was breathalysed two hours later at police headquarters, he gave a reading of 76 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath — more than double the legal limit.

He denied the offence of drinking and driving, but was found guilty after a trial.

Advocate Sarah Dale, defending, said Beaumont had only been in Jersey temporarily and planned to return to the UK on his release.

She said: "The reason he was here was to help his former partner care for their daughter after his former partner received a terminal diagnosis. He was here to provide both practical and emotional support."

She said that Beaumont's partner had died in December.

She added: "Mr Beaumont has come to the difficult decision that he would rather serve a period of custody than carry out a community service order, and get on with his life afterwards in the UK."

Advocate Shaw agreed to the request. She also banned him from driving in Jersey for three years but noted that he did not plan to return to the island in any case.

As he left the court, he said: "I'd just like to say I'm very, very sorry for wasting your time."

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