Thorney Island soldier caught drink-driving may miss deployment

STOPPED James Padbury was pulled over in East Street, Havant
STOPPED James Padbury was pulled over in East Street, Havant

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A SOLDIER faces being unable to be deployed to Afghanistan after being caught drink-driving.

James Padbury, who has given 18 years of ‘exemplary service’ to the armed forces, was caught driving a Volkswagen Polo while over the drink-drive limit in East Street, Havant.

The 35-year-old was stopped by police carrying out routine checks in the area.

Officers acted after he was spotted being seen leaving a local pub shortly before 6pm.

A test later revealed Padbury’s breath contained 43mg of alcohol per 100ml. The legal limit is 35mg.

Addressing district judge Anne Arnold, Padbury, who represented himself at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, said: ‘It was a stupid mistake to make. I had two pints.’

Warrant officer class John Pearce said Padbury, of Thorney Island, Emsworth, had given 18 years of ‘exemplary service’.

He said: ‘He’s not been in any trouble military-wise until now. Obviously off the back of this he has failed the service test.’

He added: ‘‘He is due to deploy to Afghanistan in May, so will obviously be down to drive as well.

‘This is the first offence of any kind that he has been involved with.

‘The likelihood is he will not deploy due to the nature of the beast and someone else will have to step in.

‘He’s looking at a three-year promotion ban off the back of that.

Padbury, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to one count of drink-driving on December 12.

Sentencing Padbury for the offence, which he pleaded guilty to committing on December 12, district judge Arnold said: ‘It is a criminal offence but in all the circumstances I’m going to deal with the offences by way of a financial penalty.’

Padbury was banned from driving for a year.

The ban could be reduced by three months on the condition that Padbury successfully completes a government-approved driving course by July 31.

Padbury was fined £450. He was ordered to pay £45 to a fund for victims of crime.

He was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs.