Drunk driver who ploughed BMW into Sunderland home gets four-year driving ban

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.
The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

A drink-driver has been banned from the roads for four years after his BMW demolished the front of a Sunderland home in a crash.

Reginald Conlin was almost three times the legal limit when his car ploughed into the the cottage in Forster Street, Roker, early on August 27.

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

Police, fire crews and ambulances were called to the scene at just after 6am, after 31-year-old Conlin's 63-reg BMW crashed through the brick wall and into the living room.

Miraculously, nobody was injured in the smash, which also involved a Renault Clio.

Householder Edmond Hammond had been brushing his teeth when the car struck his home.

He had heard a noise a few moments earlier which he thought was someone next door.

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

Mr Hammond, 75, said: "I heard some more noise and came through here and two blokes were walking through my passage saying 'are you all right?'.

"I thought what's going on here? I came to the front door and saw a car halfway inside in my window."

A woman neighbour, whose car was struck before the BMW crashed into Mr Hammond's home, said: "He hit my car and was still going fast enough to go through a house.

"It's crazy. He was lucky he hasn't killed anyone."

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

The scene of the crash in Forster Street, Roker.

Police arrived shortly afterwards and removed the driver from the BMW. He was led away in handcuffs.

He was said to be wearing nothing but a pair of women's pyjama bottoms at the time.

The force of the crash ripped a radiator off the wall, flooding the room.

Mr Hammond, who still works as an automatic gearbox mechanic, has vowed to remain in the bungalow.

"I will stay here, it's no problem," he said.

Conlin, of East Vines, in the East End of the city, admitted driving with excess alcohol and without third-party insurance when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates. Court.

He was found to have 99 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the legal limit being 35.

District Judge Roger Elsey sentenced him to an 18-month community order, with 200 hours' unpaid work, and told him to take part in the drink-impaired drivers' programme and complete up to 10 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.

Judge Elsey disqualified Conlin from holding or obtaining a driving licence for four years and told him to pay £85 costs and a £85 surcharge.