A JUDGE warned disgraced councillor Christian Guppy he will eventually kill somebody if he continues to drive under the influence of drink and drugs.

The former chairman of Horton Parish Council has avoided jail for driving his Ford Fiesta erratically after taking a cocktail of cannabis, cocaine and ketamine before driving on the A358 in March this year.

Guppy, 33, of St Peters Close, was subjected to a vicious attack in 2006 which led to his drug use but the judge told him this is “no excuse” for driving while heavily intoxicated.

The court heard that Guppy has a history of driving while under the influence of either drink and drugs – with the first offence being committed when he was 23.

Judge David Evans told him at Taunton Crown Court: “An aggravating feature is your criminal record for doing the same thing over and over and over again. You have driven into a parked vehicle, a tree, and a building. Do you know what will happen next? You are going to kill a human being and when you do you are going to go to jail for years and years and years.

“And here you are doing it again, the fifth time driving under the influence of either drink or drugs. You deliberately decided to drive when you knew you were under the influence and you deliberately put peoples’ lives at risk.

“I am sure if you do kill somebody, you will trot out the same excuse you have on this occasion, that it was all down to an incident a decade ago.”

Guppy was seen by a lorry driver to be “weaving about” in his Ford Fiesta on the A358 near Ilminster, crossing the central white line and mounting the near-side verge, at 6.30pm on Saturday, March 4. He eventually entered Southfield Roundabout before stopping further up the road, where the lorry driver pulled up behind him, took his ignition keys and called the police.

The court heard he had finished work and stopped off to buy cannabis, which he smoked before resuming his journey.

The judge said Guppy’s eyes were glazed and he was finding it difficult to speak and was unable to “engage in minor bodily movements and could not walk without staggering.”

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Police found 15g of cannabis near his driver seat.

The judge added: “Three-and-a-half hours later blood was taken from you and when analysed it showed you were under the influence of a combination of drugs, not just cannabis, but ketamine and cocaine as well.

“It is clear you are a man, when sober, who contributes positively to the community and I am told you are the chairman of a local parish council – I hope you won’t be for any longer.”

Guppy, wearing blue jeans, a hooded sweatshirt and glasses while clutching a holdall, spoke only to confirm his name and accept the sentence for dangerous driving and possession of cannabis. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for 18 months, and a three-year driving ban. He must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work, a 45-day rehabilitation programme and pay costs of £500.

Defending, Emma Martin said Guppy had his car scrapped since the incident and that it is the “firm view” of a support worker at Clean Start that the attack led to his drug use and him “pressing the self-destruct button.”

She said he is highly-regarded by people in the community who know what has happened and are supportive of him.

She said: “He must really start to be honest with himself and those around him about his drug use and what has happened, which is moving in the right direction.

“Mr Guppy’s medical notes support the account he gives that he has started to seek assistance for the significant effects from the assault he was the victim of in 2006. He does not excuse his behaviour in any way, shape or form but must understand what has happened to him.

“He suffered a subdural haemorrhage often seen in cases where there’s a fatality and Mr Guppy is very lucky to have survived an attack. He is somebody who has relied on the misuse of drugs and somebody who has appeared before the courts having driven recklessly and under the influence of drugs – none of that would have happened before the serious assault.”

The judge appreciates the attack has had significant consequences but said Guppy has been before the courts “again and again.”

He said: “I have no doubt he has an underlying drug problem and alcohol problem and that may stem from that incident, but it has nothing to do anymore with his deliberate decision on this occasion to stop on his way home from work to buy cannabis and smoke it before resuming his journey. He is using it has an excuse for an habitual problem he has with drugs.”