Ex boss of haulage giant caught drink-driving
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
The former boss of a well-known regional haulage firm was caught driving while three times the limit after turning to the "demon drink" when the business was sold.
Anthony Richards, son of the late Jack Richards who formed Jack Richards and Son in Cambridgeshire in 1956, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court having been charged with drink-driving.
Richards, 62, who had been chairman of the major Fakenham-based transport firm following his father's death aged 90 in 2014, was caught driving a Land Rover Discovery at St Mary's Close, Heacham, on December 9.
He was found to have 109mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Richards, of St Mary's Close, Heacham, appeared in court on Wednesday (December 16) when he pleaded guilty to drink driving.
The court was told an off-duty police officer had reported the defendant after seeing him "driving very slowly" and towards the nearside verge.
He was followed by officers to his home address before being stopped and breath tested.
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Tim Cary, mitigating, said it was a "somewhat odd" case.
He said Richards was a "pillar of the community" who had ended up before the courts for the first time in his life.
Mr Cary said Richards had been one of the main shareholders of the firm, which was sold to Soham-based Turners last year.
He said Richards remained a minority shareholder and director but once he became "just a director" people stopped listening to him.
Mr Cary said: "I think it's fair to say Mr Richards became depressed because life had not gone the way he had hoped it would go."
He said Richards did not go to work at the beginning of last week and "turned to the demon drink".
The defendant, "for reasons best known to himself", went to Tesco to pick something up for his partner and was caught drink-driving by police.
Mr Cary said he had received 14 glowing references for Richards, who had since sought help for his drinking.
Richards was banned from driving for 26 months, and given a 12-month community order including 100 hours unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay £105 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.