Councillor backs drink driving fight after Clavering crash

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A COUNCILLOR says he will do everything he can to support the police in their fight against drink drivers after members in his ward were victims of the crime.

Hart ward councillor Paul Beck spoke out after David Burgess, 22, ploughed into two garden walls and a house while almost three times over the drink-drive limit.

Burgess sent bricks flying through the air before crashing into the properties in Clavering, narrowly missing people inside, during the incident in December.

Coun Beck said he will do everything he can to support police in tackling drink driving in his neighbourhood.

And he has made helping Hartlepool Police combat crime one of his ward priorities, vowing to support victims of offenders.

Coun Beck said: “Anyone who knowingly gets behind the wheel of a vehicle having consumed alcohol in effect becomes a lethal weapon.

“There is no excuse for this kind of behaviour and anyone who commits this kind of offence and then leaves the scene of the incident has no regard for their victims’ health and safety.

“I only hope that in the length of time this has taken to come to court, that the person involved has had time to reflect on the trauma that has been suffered by the families, and the expense involved to piece their property back to its original state.

“I have made it my ward priority this year to support Hartlepool Police in their hard task of preventing this kind of crime and to personally support the victims of crime by regular welfare visits.

“Let’s all support our over- stretched police, who do a great job in our town and strive to make Hartlepool a safer place to live and work.”

Burgess, of Annandale Crescent, Hartlepool, was spared jail when he was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court.

He was given an eight- month prison sentence suspended for two years after he admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

Judge Mark McKone said it was lucky Burgess did not kill anyone.

He was also banned from driving for three years and will have to pass an extended driving test in the future.