Peter Walsh, Crime correspondent
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A man who admitted driving while unfit through drugs has been jailed for two years after the offence put him in breach of a suspended sentence imposed for arson.
Matthew Westbury, 21, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced after having previously admitted an offence of driving whilst unfit on the B1105 near Fakenham on November 6 last year.
Richard Potts, prosecuting, said Westbury, of Crossdale Street, near Cromer, was driving a Vauxhall Corsa vehicle which was seen by police being driven “erratically” and “unable to maintain a steady speed or road position, crossing the white lines in the centre of the road”.
Police initially put on their blue lights but to try to get the defendant’s attention but when this was unsuccessful put on the sirens too.
It was not until about a minute or so later that the defendant pulled over and when officers approached him they could see Westbury’s eyes were “glazed and red” and he had a “small amount of white residue around his nose”.
Westbury whose speech was “slurred” and jumbled could hardly stand and was later discovered to have cocaine and other substances, including ketamine, in his blood.
The court heard the driving offence put him in breach of the sentence imposed following the arson offence in January last year where he put fireworks through the letter box of the home of a woman who had “connections” with his then girlfriend.
When interviewed by police he said it was a “stupid thing to do” and did not know why he did it.
The court heard Westbury also admitted being in possession of a class A and a class B drug on December 28 last year.
Jonathan Morgans, for Westbury, said his client was “still very young” and told the court that his “entire criminal career” consisted of what he appeared to be sentenced for.
He said Westbury’s ongoing “drug issue” had to be dealt with and said he was “prepared to tackle that”.
Mr Morgans urged the judge to give him credit for his pleas and the fact that, for five months at least, he had appeared to have complied with his suspended sentence order.
Jailing Westbury Judge Anthony Bate told the defendant: “You had your chance and you’ve forfeited it by your conduct”.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years.