Drink driver had baby in car at time of smash

The scene of the accident
The scene of the accident
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A drink-driver more than three times the limit wrote off his car with his two-year-old son in the back in a late-night high speed impact smash, a court was told.

Robert Lee Sykes (32) crashed into a Honda on a Padiham roundabout where both he and the child had a miraculous escape from the “mangled” wreckage of his Nissan Micra.

Sykes, who claimed to police he had had two cans of Special Brew at a friend’s house in Oswaldtwistle, blew 110 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35, Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told.

The defendant, who works for Peoples Ford in Accrington, has been suspended from his job, but doesn’t expect to lose it.

Sykes, of Whitegate Close, Padiham, admitted driving with excess alcohol on September 9th and being drunk in charge of a child on September 10, both on Church Street, Padiham.

He was spared jail and was given four weeks in prison, suspended for a year, with 150 hours unpaid work and was banned for two years.

The defendant was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates told the hearing officers were called to the roundabout at the top of Church Street, after reports of a collision.

Mrs Yates added: “The driver of the Nissan was not in the vehicle. Officers noted there was a child seat in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle.”

Mr Nick Cassidy (defending) said: “He tells me in 2009 he unfortunately suffered the death of a child, who was stillborn. At that point he had issues in relation to alcohol but since 2012 when he was last before the court, he has been in full-time employment.

“He accepts the blame is solely at his door. He is extremely remorseful in relation to this incident.”

District Judge Meirion Lewis-Jones, said: “You have come very close to going to prison.

“Whatever it was, what makes it particularly serious is the fact that you had your two-year-old in the back.

“It’s a miracle that he escaped without injury, as you did, but these incidents can happen in the blink of an eye, particularly when you had been drinking as your judgement would have been severely impaired.”