Former marine from Warwick jailed after drink-drive chase

The scales of justice EMN-150721-120115001
The scales of justice EMN-150721-120115001

A former Royal Marines reservist who saw two tours of duty as a medic in Afghanistan and who crashed his Porsche into a wall during a high-speed police chase in the Lake District has been jailed for six months.

When Robert Fogarty was arrested he was approaching twice the legal drink-drive limit and it was his second excess alcohol offence, having previously been convicted in 2010.

He came to police attention when he was seen driving in the wrong direction along a one-way street. The court heard he reached speeds of up to 70mph through 40mph zones in Ambleside and Grasmere.

Fogarty, aged 38, of Broad Street, Warwick, was charged with drink-driving, dangerous driving and driving otherwise than in accordance with his licence.

He pleaded guilty to the offences , which were committed during the early hours of May 17, when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court.

A three-year driving ban was also imposed by Recorder Kevin Grice, who told Fogarty he must also sit an extended test before getting back behind the wheel.

The court heard that as police tried to stop Fogarty’s car for several miles there were pedestrians on nearby pavements.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, handed to the court a bundle of character references in support of Fogarty, who she said hoped to qualify as a chartered surveyor, and who had since given up alcohol.

She said Fogarty had drunk two pints of strong ale after a charity walk in the Lake District just hours before committing the offences, adding: “He thought he would be over the limit and panicked.”

Recorder Grice rejected a plea for a suspended sentence, saying: “This was, in my view, a prolonged period of very bad driving indeed. I am afraid, Robert Fogarty, that for this error of judgement you will pay a catastrophic price.”