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Hungerford drink-driver Eithan Martin-Jones crashed into car carrying a baby

[SUBS: ‘Eithan’ is correct]

A DRINK-driver who took a vehicle without consent crashed it into another car which had a baby inside.

On Monday, February 19, Eithan Martin-Jones narrowly avoided being sent straight to prison.

Reading Magistrates' Court
Reading Magistrates' Court

Chad Echakowitz, prosecuting, said the 21-year-old, of Combe View, Hungerford, had taken his grandfather’s grey Volkswagen Polo without his knowledge or permission.

There was then a traffic collision involving Mr Martin-Jones’ Polo and another vehicle.

Inside the other vehicle was a passenger with a baby, the court heard.

Fortunately there were no injuries.

But driver Molly Courtenay suffered psychological distress, said Mr Echakowitz.

When police arrived Mr Martin Jones, who had no driving insurance, failed a roadside breath test.

Tests at the police station subsequently showed 54mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.

The legal limit is 35mcg.

Mr Martin-Jones admitted taking a car without consent, drink-driving, driving without insurance and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

All the offences were committed in Hungerford on August 27 last year.

Mr Martin-Jones is currently subject to an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, imposed by a Reading Crown Court judge last month, for an offence of assault causing actual bodily harm in Prospect Road, Hungerford.

In addition, he was required to complete 15 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to observe a 26-week curfew.

But that offence was committed in June 2022 and therefore predates the current offences, the court was told.

There was thus no requirement for the court to consider whether or not to activate the suspended sentence.

Gianpaolo Damiani, defending, said: “It was his grandfather’s car that he took without consent.

“But that hasn’t hindered their relationship; his grandfather sits at the back of the court today and they live together.”

He asked district judge Samuel Goozee to allow Mr Martin-Jones to take a drink-driver rehabilitation course.

However, judge Goozee said the ban he would impose for aggravated vehicle taking did not allow that possibility.

Instead he sentenced Mr Martin-Jones to 10 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

In addition, he endorsed his licence on each count and banned him from driving for 14 months.

The ban will be backdated to January, when the court imposed an interim driving disqualification during a preliminary hearing.

Finally, Mr Martin-Jones was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £154.

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