Drink-driver who smashed into house avoids jail

PATH OF DESTRUCTION: The crash scene in Clavering Road
PATH OF DESTRUCTION: The crash scene in Clavering Road

A DRINK-driver who caused this destruction to two homes while almost three times the limit has been spared jail.

Former soldier David Burgess, 22, ploughed into two garden walls and smashed into the front of a house where a young family lived.

A car caused damage to two properties (the one on the left, and the one on the right, which the car actually crashed into) on Clavering Road when it crashed into a shared garden wall.

A car caused damage to two properties (the one on the left, and the one on the right, which the car actually crashed into) on Clavering Road when it crashed into a shared garden wall.

They were lucky to avoid being seriously hurt when the driver sent bricks flying through the air and into the property in Clavering Road, Hartlepool, in December.

A judge, sentencing Burgess at Teesside Crown Court, told him he could have killed someone.

Afghanistan veteran Burgess, who was driving a Renault Megane, crashed into the homes in the middle of the day on Saturday, December 29.

Remarkably, no-one was injured in the smash.

A young girl and her parents were at home in one house and a pensioner was in his front room reading the paper when it happened.

Burgess fled the scene, leaving the car in the front garden, but was arrested by police in Whin Meadows later.

He demolished two front garden walls and a fence and several windows in the properties had to be replaced.

When Burgess was tested for alcohol at the police station he had 222mg in 100ml of blood - almost three times the legal limit of 80mg.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

The court heard Burgess, of Annandale Crescent, Hartlepool, is a former soldier receiving help for mental health issues after a tour of Afghanistan.

He was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years, with supervision from the probation service, and made the subject of a four-month curfew between 8pm and 5am.

He was also banned from driving for three years and will not be allowed behind the wheel again until he takes an extended driving test.