20th Jul, 2019

Drink driver who smashed into cars after drinking bottle of wine spared jail - because she's a woman

Editorial Correspondent 9th Jul, 2019 Updated: 9th Jul, 2019

A SERIAL drink driver who smashed into three cars after drinking a bottle of wine has been spared jail – because she’s a woman.

Alcoholic Victoria Parry was told by a judge that, if she had been a man, ‘it would have been straight down the stairs’ to prison.

Instead she was handed a suspended sentence and handed a driving ban on Monday.

It came after a judge deferred sentencing for three months in April to see if Parry could address her issues.

A court heard the 30-year-old was dragged from the flaming wreck by other drivers on the A46 near Stratford, at around 7pm on May 23 last year.

A breathalsyer test showed she was almost three times the legal limit.

Parry, of Grange Road, Bearley, was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and banned from driving for 24 months at Birmingham Crown Court.

Judge Sarah Buckingham – who sentenced her – previously sparked outrage when she gave her a second chance on account of her gender.

She told the court: “If Miss Parry was a man, there is no question it would have been straight down the stairs, because this is a shocking case of dangerous driving against a background of two previous convictions for excess alcohol.

“But this offence was committed in May 2018 and she has not been in trouble since.

“She has clearly got an alcohol problem. She is, whether she admits it or not, an alcoholic.”

When Parry was arrested she took a breath test at the police station almost two hours later and was still well over the legal limit.

Prosecutor Tim Sapwell said: “Her driving was such that she caught the rear bumper of a van, and she next hit the wing mirror of a Vauxhall, and then the side of a BMW.

“She hit it with such force the BMW’s rear wheel was knocked off and the car was written off.

“It caused her Fiat to spin in the road and go down the embankment into a wooded area where it caught fire.”

The court heard Parry had been banned from driving for three years in July 2015 for her second excess alcohol offence.

Road safety charity Brake slammed the judge for letting Parry off with a slap on the wrist.

A spokesperson said: “Dangerous driving is a daily menace on our roads.

“When drivers take illegal and selfish actions such as drink driving, they knowingly put lives in danger. Repeat offenders are the most dangerous on our roads.

“They must be dealt with severely so that they no longer pose a threat to other road users and making it clear that this kind of dangerous behaviour by any driver will not be tolerated.”

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