St Albans drunk driver's narrow escape

PUBLISHED: 11:47 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

A MOTHER and baby could have been killed when a drunken woman crashed her car near a St Albans school last July. Roslyn Edwards, 54, flipped her car onto its roof near Beaumont School as pupils were leaving at the end of the day. Edwards, of Hatfield Road

A MOTHER and baby could have been killed when a drunken woman crashed her car near a St Albans school last July.

Roslyn Edwards, 54, flipped her car onto its roof near Beaumont School as pupils were leaving at the end of the day.

Edwards, of Hatfield Road, St Albans, was appearing for sentence at St Albans Crown Court on Saturday having pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and using abusive words and behaviour.

Prosecutor Catherine Purnell said that Edwards was driving a small silver car along Hatfield Road at 3.45pm on July 15 when she lost control.

She went on: "It mounted the kerb and narrowly missed a woman who was pushing along her two-week-old son. The mother thought she heard the driver laugh. It drove off at high speed but hit a parked blue car near Longacres and ended up upside down."

Edwards, who was stuck inside the car, was freed by two members of the public. Once outside she became aggressive and swore at children on their way home from Beaumont.

When police arrived Edwards, who was unsteady on her feet, also swore at them. She was blood tested for alcohol at the police station and gave a reading of 219 - 80 is the limit.

Defence barrister Bethan Charnley said Edwards felt terrible about what had happened. She said she had been going through a very difficult time. Her parents had died from their injuries after being attacked at their home in South Africa which had led her brother to commit suicide.

To make matters worse, Miss Charnley said, the attackers had escaped from jail.

Edwards, who receives benefits, had been diagnosed as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder but Miss Charnley said she was now in a stable relationship with a new partner and had curtailed her drinking.

Passing a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years and banning her from driving for two and a half years, Judge Stephen Gullick said: "This was an appalling piece of behaviour which could have resulted in serious injury if not death."

He also placed her under supervision for 18 months with a condition that she attends an alcohol treatment centre.


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