Jail for Newtown man who drove home from nephew's memorial football match while over the limit

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Court Reporter

A bereaved uncle has been jailed for drink-driving home from a charity football match in memory of his teenage nephew.

Damien Ian Marsden, 35, appeared at Welshpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday where he was told he would spend four months behind bars after he admitted drink-driving just 11 days after receiving a suspended sentence.

Marsden, of Lon Eithin, Trehafren, Newtown, had attended the second annual charity Kalun Longman memorial football match at Latham Park, in memory of his nephew who died in a road accident in 2015 aged 16.

It was after the match, on the evening of October 21, that he was stopped by police in Fern Square, Maesyrhandir.

Helen Tench, prosecuting, said the officers smelt alcohol and Marsden admitted he had been drinking an hour previously.

A roadside breath test came back positive and the lower reading taken at the police station revealed 45 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – above the legal limit of 35.

Mrs Tench told the court Marsden had previous convictions including one in 2014 for drink-driving, which meant the minimum disqualification period for the new offence would be three years.

Mike Davies, defending, said the father-of two was currently living with his parents and had been unemployed for several months.

Mr Davies said: “He is a hard-working individual, he has worked since he left school, mostly in ground work.

“He has not worked in the last several months because he has been suffering from depression, brought about by the death of his nephew and the suicide of a very good friend last year.

“The suspended sentence was imposed at this court on October 10 for a public order offence.”

On that date he had received an 18-week sentence after admitting threatening a neighbour, suspended for two years. He was also already serving a community order, which was imposed in January.

The magistrates activated 12 weeks of Marsden’s suspended sentence, and added four weeks to be served consecutively for the new drink-driving offence. His community order was revoked and he was told to expect 12 months of post-sentence supervision upon his release.

He was banned from the roads for three years, and must pay a £115 surcharge. No costs were awarded.

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