A MAN who brought Reading to a standstill after crashing his car into a bus was today banned from driving for 22 months.
Simon Narracott, 51, formerly of Gainsborough Crescent, Henley, pleaded guilty to a drink-driving when he appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court.
He was also fined £1,000 and told to attend a drink-driving course.
Narracott, now of Orts Road, Reading, was arrested after he crashed his black Range Rover into a bus on Reading Bridge on July 26, causing major delays as the road was shut for two hours.
Prosecutor Ann Sawyer-Brandish said: “On the day he was driving on Reading Bridge and he crashed into a double-decker bus.
“It caused extensive damage to both the vehicles and two of the passengers on the bus attended the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Fortunately, they had only minor injuries.”
Police, fire and ambulance services all attended the scene and Narracott was breathalysed.
Mrs Sawyer-Brandish said: “The officer noticed he had the smell of alcohol on his breath. He had a test on the side of the road, which he fully complied with and he was checked over by paramedics.
“He measured 79 [milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood] in his blood test when he was interviewed later that day.”
The legal limit is 80 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.
Mrs Sawyer-Brandish said Narracott admitted to police that he had been driving the vehicle.
She added: “He stated he did not recall drinking that day but had a drink the day before of vodka with tonic water.
“He had poured the rest of the vodka in the tonic water bottle. He had drank a lot of tonic water and that tonic water was the only explanation.”
Narracott, who represented himself in court, said: “I was moving house and it could have been the night before I had a vodka and tonic.
“On the day of the accident I had been drinking tonic water from the first thing in the morning. I was moving from Henley to Reading so it fitted with that.”
Sentencing him, presiding magistrate Victoria McCullum said there were “significant aggravating factors” with the crash.
She said: “People were injured and taken to hospital. Because of the location and time of the incident there would have been high amount of traffic and pedestrians in the vicinity.
“We have taken into consideration your personal mitigation and that you co-operated with police and are of previous good character.”
She ordered Narracott to also pay a £100 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
If he completes his 16-hour drink-driving course, his driving ban will be reduced by 22 weeks.
When his ban finishes he will have to reapply for a driving licence.
Last year, Narracott ran for election to South Oxfordshire District Council and Henley Town Council as a representative of Henley Residents’ Group but did not win a seat on either.
He is no longer a member of the political party as he has moved out of the area.