Drink drive shame of Lancashire soldier

Hugh Dixon
Hugh Dixon
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A Parachute Regiment soldier risks losing his Army career after admitting drink driving.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard the 16 month ban imposed on Bamber Bridge man Hugh Theodore Dixon, who enlisted in 2014, had put his role in the Colchester-based regiment in jeopardy.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford said despite his previous good character he could not shorten the ban as Private Dixon, 22, of Edward Street, Bamber Bridge, had been twice the legal limit.

Dixon’s platoon commander sat in the public gallery as proceedings took place.

Prosecuting, Phillippa White said: “At 4.40am, police became aware of a car on Victoria Road, driving at speed in their opinion.

“They turned their vehicle around intending to stop it and illuminated their lights. The vehicle continued on its journey down to the Capitol Centre and they saw it pull in near McDonald’s.”

She added after a positive breath test, agitated Dixon, who was on leave to attend a wedding and had been on a night out in Preston, said the police had “cost him his job” and begging them to charge him with speeding or going through a red light.

Dixon, of Edward Street, Bamber Bridge, was handcuffed.

Defending, Greg Earnshaw said: “He has not yet been deployed on active duty. There is an expectation on deployment that he is able to drive. The impact of this case is he will be subject to an Army disciplinary and there’s a risk he could be discharged.

“He had taken the car to his friend’s house - he should have left it there. He’s not proud of himself - but he’s a man other people will be proud of.”

District Judge Brailsford said: “I hope you would not disagree if I express the view you made a number of bad decisions that night.

“The journey from Preston to the Capitol Centre isn’t an easy one and so the risk you presented to yourself and others is clear.

“The vast majority of people will have the utmost respect for you and the armed forces. I bear in mind your good character but I cannot reduce the disqualification.”

Dixon must also pay a £300 fine, £30 surcharge and £85 costs.