A SERIAL drink driver who smashed into three cars after downing a bottle of wine has been spared jail – as she’s a woman.
Victoria Parry was told by a female judge if she was a man “it would be straight down the stairs” to prison.
Victoria Parry was given a suspended sentence after being told if she was a man she would have been jailed[/caption]
The 30-year-old hit the vehicles before crashing into a ditch, where her Fiat Stilo burst into flames, the court heard.
She was pulled from the wreck just off the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon, on May 23 last year.
The shop manager has two previous convictions for drunk driving, and admitted dangerous driving at Warwick Crown Court yesterday.
She was handed a three-month suspended sentence by Judge Sarah Buckingham.
The Judge added: “If Miss Parry was a man, there is no question it would have been straight down the stairs, because this is a shocking case of dangerous driving against a background of two previous convictions for excess alcohol.
“But this offence was committed in May 2018 and she has not been in trouble since.
“She has clearly got an alcohol problem. She is, whether she admits it or not, an alcoholic.”
‘I SHOULDN’T BE DRIVING’
Addressing Parry, she added: “You richly deserve an immediate custodial sentence of 18 months.
“I want to see whether you can really address the issues rather than paying lip service.
“If you succeed, I will not make the custody immediate. If you don’t comply, I will conclude that you are not worthy of the chance.”
The court heard Parry almost caused a major crash when she overtook into oncoming traffic before ploughing into three vehicles.
Prosecutor Tim Sapwell said: “Her driving was such that she caught the rear bumper of a van, and she next hit the wing mirror of a Vauxhall Insignia, and then the side of a BMW very heavily.
“She hit it with such force that the BMW’s rear wheel was knocked off and the car was written off.
“It caused her Fiat to spin in the road and go down the embankment into a wooded area where it caught fire.”
Other drivers rushed to her aid, including an off-duty police inspector who released her from her seat belt and pulled her out of the burning car.
If Miss Parry was a man, there is no question it would have been straight down the stairs, because this is a shocking case of dangerous driving against a background of two previous convictions for excess alcohol.
Judge Sarah Buckingham
He noticed she smelled of alcohol, and Parry told him that she had had a bottle of wine, telling him: “I shouldn’t be driving.”
The court heard Parry had been banned from driving for three years in July 2015 for her second excess alcohol offence.
When Parry was arrested she took a breath test at the police station almost two hours later, the reading was only just under three times the legal limit of 35mcg per 100ml of breath.
Lucy Tapper, defending, said Parry started drinking up to two bottles of wine a day after being in an abusive relationship.
She said: “There is deep and genuine regret on her part.
“Having a crash presents its own consequences in terms of what you’ve done, and to have your car burst into flames is quite terrifying.
“She says she thought she was going to die. This has been a very salutary lesson to her.”
Road safety charity Brake slammed the judge for letting Victoria Parry off with a lenient sentence.
A spokesperson said: “Dangerous driving is a daily menace on our roads.
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“When drivers take illegal and selfish actions such as drink driving, they knowingly put lives in danger.
“Repeat offenders are the most dangerous on our roads.
“They must be dealt with severely so that they no longer pose a threat to other road users and making it clear that this kind of dangerous behaviour by any driver will not be tolerated.”
The shop manager has two previous convictions for drunk driving, and admitted dangerous driving at Warwick Crown Court yesterday[/caption]
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