Father jailed for being drunk in charge of a child

A FATHER who collected his three-year-old daughter from nursery while almost three times over the limit has been jailed for 10 weeks and banned from driving for five years.

Kevin Kennedy, of Undermill Road in Upper Beeding, drove to collect his child from Lancing Children and Family Centre in North Road, Lancing, on February 4, 2013, in a car borrowed from his neighbour and without a valid licence.

Worthing Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that staff at the centre had noticed Kennedy appeared intoxicated, as he was slurring his words, had difficulty walking and seemed ‘somewhat distracted’.

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The court heard how Mr Kennedy had put his daughter in the front seat of the car without a seat belt or car seat.

He then noticed the car would not start and began pushing it while the child was inside.

Police arrived and Kennedy failed a roadside breath test.

He was arrested and one hour later provided two specimens, the lower of which showed 130mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Kennedy pleaded guilty to all the charges against him.

In Kennedy’s defence, Matthew Baines asked the magistrates to consider a suspended sentence and a community order, arguing that Kennedy had sought help for his alcohol use and was no longer being treated by Adaction.

Mr Baines said Kennedy had ‘made considerable efforts to sort his life out’ and had co-operated fully with the police and the court.

But the bench chairman said the case was so serious, that a custodial sentence was appropriate.

Kennedy was know to the courts, having previously been banned from driving for three years for drink driving.

Kennedy was ordered to serve 10 weeks in jail for driving while over the limit, and three weeks for being drunk in charge of a child under seven.

The two sentences will run at the same time, meaning Kennedy will spend at least five weeks in prison.