Drink driver’s appeal against ban is turned down

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A DRINK driver who killed his best friend in a road crash and then fled from the scene has lost his appeal to have his four-year driving ban reduced.

Harvey Chessum, a self-employed bricklayer, told an appeal hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday that he would find it easier to obtain employment if his licence was restored.

Chessum, now 22, was originally banned at the crown court in February 2010, when he was also jailed for 30 months after admitting charges of causing death by careless driving while over the limit and perverting the course of justice.

Chessum lost control of a Vauxhall Astra while driving along the A15 in the early hours of February 27, 2009 after hitting the kerb. The vehicle left the road close to the junction for Swarby and Culverthorpe and landed in a ditch.

Both back seat passengers were thrown out of the car with Jonathan Hood, 20, who lived at Folkingham, suffering fatal injuries.

Chessum falsely claimed to have drunk from a bottle of vodka after leaving the smash and then tried to bolster the lie by later placing an empty vodka bottle at the scene.

Chessum, who at the time lived in Folkingham but now lives in Billingborough, was arrested at the scene and provided a positive breath test and a subsequent blood test showed he had 84mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

At his appeal hearing Chessum said: “At the moment work is quite hard to come by. I’d like my licence back because it would be more convenient for me for work. I’m required to travel around.”

He told the hearing that he had good reports from both the prison service and probation officers and since his release has settled with his partner who is due to give birth later this year.

He said: “I understand how serious the charge was. I couldn’t be more sorry for things that happened but I’ve served my time in prison and I feel I’ve moved my life on a lot.”

Judge Michael Heath, who passed the original driving ban, rejected the appeal for the disqualification to be lifted early.

He told Chessum: “The disqualification of four years was an integral part of the sentence. It is not appropriate to remove the disqualification so I refuse the appeal.”