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Drink-driving former Lincolnshire PC crashed coach carrying children

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: June 19, 2012

David Snell

David Snell

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An over-the-limit former police constable has been banned from driving after he rolled a school minibus into a field while it was carrying children who have special needs.

David Snell, 55, was disqualified for 28 months after pleading guilty to being almost twice over the drink-drive limit.

The taxi driver, from Market Rasen, was taking seven children from Aegir Community School, in Gainsborough, back to their homes.

Snell claimed he had not drunk any alcohol since the day before the crash, which happened at around 3.30pm on Monday, February 20.

He also claimed he could not remember anything between 11.30am on the morning of the incident and 7.30am the next day.

No children were hurt in the crash.

A carer, who was also on board, suffered a broken collarbone.

Snell, who previously worked for Lincolnshire Police, was ordered to pay a total of £700 at a Lincoln Magistrates Court hearing which took place on Tuesday, June 12.

The incident happened on Top Road in Osgodby, near Market Rasen.

A witness, who was driving a vehicle behind the minibus, said they could not see anything that would have caused the crash.

Emergency services were called to the scene and Snell was flown to Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

He suffered damage to his back and had several cracked ribs.

Tests revealed Snell had 158 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

The legal limit is 80 milligrames per 100 millilitres.

Edward Johnson, prosecuting, said: "At 3.27pm he was driving on the A1103 when he lost control of the minibus.

"It then rolled over and over into a field.

"It was a straight road, weather conditions were dry and there was also good visibility.

"The carer said Mr Snell had difficulty in controlling the steering prior to it rolling over.

"The driver of the vehicle behind indicated there was no reason for the minibus to leave the road."

Bill Miller, mitigating, said Snell had no memory of the crash.

"Unfortunately Mr Snell is unable to recall any of the details," he said.

"The last thing he recalls is going out with his dog at 11.30am.

"The next thing he remembers is waking up at 7.30am the following morning."

Mr Miller added his client had accrued one other previous motoring conviction during the 36 years he had a license.

This was for driving without due care and attention, which happened in 1981.

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  June 19 2012, 10:13PM

    eatmygoal - Wide of the mark, I'm afraid. Drink-driving is an automatic ban in almost all circumstances, so requires a court hearing. Double the limit and risk to children would increase the court imperative, although his previous job could have been a factor in the verdict and sentence. The chef who escaped a ban last year (Green Dragon and somewhere in Scunthorpe rings a bell) was an exception rather than the norm.

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  • SS29252  |  June 19 2012, 8:17PM

    "What has being an ex police officer got to do with this offence?" Don't suppose it had any influence on his appointment as a school minibus driver.

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  • eatmygoal  |  June 19 2012, 10:59AM

    I agree FreedomSpeech. You can bet being ex police was a factor is bringing this to court and while it was in court, so fair enough it being mentioned in the paper.

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  • FreedomSpeech  |  June 19 2012, 10:34AM

    "What has being an ex police officer got to do with this offence?" Personally, I don't think it unreasonable to expect that an ex Police Officer might maintain a slightly higher standard than the norm when it comes to abiding by the law, particularly something as serious as drink driving. It adds a dollop of rank hypocrisy to the seriousness of the actual offence, which could be seen as relevant by readers.

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  • LincolnFran  |  June 19 2012, 9:33AM

    "The last thing he recalls is going out with his dog at 11.30am. "The next thing he remembers is waking up at 7.30am the following morning." How very convenient. He should be ashamed of himself.

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  • adamcayhall  |  June 19 2012, 9:24AM

    Obviously the LE is anti-police as I too share Whiley45's comments 'What has being an ex police officer got to do with this offence?'

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  • Whiley45  |  June 19 2012, 8:41AM

    What has being an ex police officer got to do with this offence?

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