An RAF corporal has escaped a custodial sentence for driving with almost four times the legal limit of alcohol in her body, after her solicitor told magistrates it would ‘almost certainly’ mean she would be discharged from the service after 14 years.
Sian Kerry Galvin, 36, who is stationed at RAF Coningsby but whose home address is Blidworth Road in Kirkby in Ashfield, admitted driving with almost four times the permitted level of alcohol in her body, when she appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday).
The court heard that when she was unable to produce the correct pass when she returned to the base just after midday on October 20, military police on the gate suspected she was under the influence of alcohol.
Prosecuting, Jim Clare said that Lincolnshire Police officers were called and Galvin gave a positive breath test and she was arrested.
At the police station she gave a reading of 120 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Mitigating, Daven Naghen said Galvin had been a serving member of the RAF for more than 14 years and admitted she was in danger of receiving a custodial sentence for this offence which, even if it was suspended, would almost certainly result in her discharge from the service.
He told the magistrates she had no previous convictions and had an ‘unblemished record of service’ in the RAF.
He added he hoped that this, in addition to her early guilty plea, might enable them to fine her rather than pass a custodial sentence.
He said she had referred herself to ‘Addaction’ and had not drunk anything since this incident.
Mr Naghen said Galvin recognised this had been ‘creeping up on her’ for the past five years and that this year had been particularly difficult, with a friend being diagnosed with a terminal illness, her relationship breaking up, her house being broken into, and her car being stolen.
He said that this has been a ‘wake-up call’, and told the magistrates that Galvin would suffer an additional punishment for bringing the RAF into disrepute, no matter what punishment the court imposed.
The magistrates were told a community order could not be imposed as she was quite likely to be sent abroad, and had spent 10 months of the past 18 months in overseas postings.
The magistrates fined her £1,000 and ordered her to pay £115 in costs and charges.
They also banned her from driving for 29 months but offered the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course, which would reduce the period of the ban by 29 weeks.
• Yesterday evening (Thursday), an RAF spokesman said: “The RAF can confirm that Corporal Galvin from RAF Coningsby appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court on November 15, charged with driving a motor vehicle with an alcohol level above the permitted limit.
“The RAF will consider the court’s findings and take any appropriate action.”