Drug-driving teen spared jail by judge

Benjamin Peace

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A TEENAGE drug-driver pulled over for driving at 1.20am with no lights has been fined by a judge who branded his case one of the worst.

Benjamin Surrey, 19, was spotted in Southampton Road, Portsmouth, on January 28 indicating one way before going another way.

Benjamin Surrey

Benjamin Surrey

Police who pulled him over found he had no licence, no insurance – and a test revealed he was over the cocaine drug-drive limit.

Hauled in front of district judge Anthony Callaway the teenager, who had a passenger in his car, said: ‘I’ve got nothing to say.’

Blasting the teenager, the judge said: ‘It’s no good saying you’ve got nothing to say, you could have killed somebody, then where would you be?’

The defendant replied: ‘Not in a good place.’

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Appearing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court Surrey, of Almondsbury Road, Paulsgrove, admitted drug-driving, driving without a licence and while uninsured.

The judge fined Surrey, who has no previous convictions, £1,000 for the drug-driving, £250 for no insurance and £150 for no licence and banned him for two years.

‘Why shouldn’t you go to prison for this?’ the judge asked. ‘If we’re going to bring the point home for people like you then why not?’

Surrey replied: ‘I don’t think I should go to prison, I want to learn from this and turn it around, learn not to be stupid and lose my licence.’

Prosecutor Giles Fletcher told how cannabis was detected in Surrey’s system but it was under the drug-drive limit.

Addressing Surrey, the judge said: ‘You’ve got multiple drugs in your system, you’re driving badly, unlicensed, you’re unaccompanied by a qualified driver, you’ve got a passenger.

‘Could there ever be a case which is a worse example from this perspective of sentencing?’

Customer services adviser Surrey replied: ‘I just feel if you can give me the chance to prove that I’m a better person, I made a mistake.’

Surrey must also pay £85 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge.