Sportsman avoids jail 'by skin of teeth'
A PROFESSIONAL fisherman and amateur rugby player was told that he had avoided prison ‘by the skin of your teeth’ after he crashed his car when drunk, drove it away and then tried to pretend he had not been behind the wheel.
Timothy Nicholas Corson (26), of Rue Gallie, Grande Route de St Martin, St Saviour, crashed into railings and a traffic light, causing substantial damage at the junction between the First Tower spur road and Victoria Avenue at about 9 pm on 11 August.
Police legal adviser Paul Lee said that a car driven by Corson left the area and CCTV was used to locate it in the Esplanade car park.
At about 10.10 pm Corson, who plays rugby for Jersey Reds Athletic, was found at The Royal Yacht hotel and was very drunk. He said that he had been out drinking all night.
He was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. At police headquarters, the defendant gave a blood sample which showed a level of 266 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, more then three times the legal limit of 80 mg.
When questioned, Corson initially denied that he had been driving and said that anyone could have been behind the wheel. However, when shown the CCTV evidence of one person in the car, he admitted committing the offence.
Advocate Matthew Jowitt, defending, said that his client pleaded guilty as soon as there was full disclosure and made admissions at interview that helped prosecutors.
The lawyer urged the court to follow the recommendations of a social inquiry report for a non-custodial sentence, even though it was the second drink-drive offence committed by the rugby player.
The court was told Corson had about £30,000 worth of lobster pots around the coast and feared they would disappear if he got a lengthy custodial sentence.
A letter from the president of the Jersey Reds also told the court of the good community work carried out by the player.
In sentencing Corson to 140 hours’ community service and banning him from driving for five years, Relief Magistrate David Le Cornu said this was an ‘extremely serious case of driving over the limit’. He told the defendant: ‘You have avoided going to prison by the skin of your teeth. The community service is equivalent to eight months in custody, the length of sentence I had in mind.’