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Drink driver Oliver Archer jailed after driving dangerously in Eureka Park in Ashford in front of onlooker Julie Wilkinson

Sloshed civil engineer Oliver Archer has been jailed for eight months for drink-driving - literally.

Despite being more than three-and-a-half times over the limit, the 33-year-old got into his silver BMW still clutching a pint of beer.

He then set off on an eight-minute drunken journey where he narrowly missed one vehicle, struck two cars, ramming one several times, before demolishing a fence.

Oliver Archer was seen getting into his car with a beer, before driving off. Picture: stock image
Oliver Archer was seen getting into his car with a beer, before driving off. Picture: stock image

Onlooker Julie Wilkinson later told police how she had watched him stagger from the pub to his car with a pint in his hand.

She then expected the drunk to sit in his vehicle and down his pint.

Instead, Archer - a project manager for a large construction site in Tonbridge - started up the engine headed off out of a car park in Eureka Park in Ashford.

He then narrowly missed a parked vehicle before:

  • striking a Ford Focus as it turned into the park - but refusing to stop
  • ignoring the pleas of Ms Wilkinson, who tried to snatch his car keys before
  • smashing into a fence and repeatedly shunting Ms Wilkinson’s car as she tried to prevent him leaving a cul-de- sac before
  • forcing another neighbour to jump out of the way as he sped off, leaving a trail of wreckage behind him

Now father-of-two Archer, of Guernsey Way, Kennington, has been banned from driving and for 30 months and jailed after admitting driving dangerously and driving with excess alcohol.

Prosecutor Jim Harvey told Canterbury Crown Court how in the early evening of April 26, a 999 call was made to the police from the customer in the Beefeater Pub who had become concerned by Archer’s behaviour.

The staff had refused to serve Archer any more booze, but he left clutching a pint of beer.

“A customer watched Archer walk out of a side entrance to the pub with a full drink in his hand and watched him get into a motor car.

“As Archer’s car manoeuvred out of the car park it narrowly missed a parked vehicle before hitting another car.”

The prosecutor said that Ms Wilkinson was parked near the Premier Inn when she saw the drunk driver leaving the pub.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

“She spotted him holding a pint glass and staggering towards his car. She then saw his reverse lights come on... and she called the police.”

Archer then careered towards the exit colliding with James Heron’s Ford Focus as it was stopped waiting to turn, causing £1,400 of damage.

The sozzled civil engineer then travelled along Trinity Road as Ms Wilkinson followed, sounding her car’s horn to warn other motorists.

Archer’s speeding car then travelled back into the park and headed towards a Burger King drive-through fast food restaurant.

“Ms Wilkinson stopped behind the BMW and despite Archer revving his
engine and putting it into reverse she went up to him and tried to grab his car keys."

Mr Harvey said he ignored her pleas to stop and brushed her aside and raced out of the park again.

As she followed the two cars collided, forcing her vehicle off the road and into a bollard where one of her tyres was punctured.

Archer then turned in Siskin Close, a cul-de-sac, and when Ms Wilkinson's damaged vehicle arrived, he had turned his car around, repeatedly striking a fence belonging to householder Lela Gurung.

She then blocked Archer’s exit, but her car was rammed several times, causing her neck, rib and back injuries.

"He accepts he should not have got into his car and he accepts he put several people in danger by the way he drove and he wishes to express his remorse" - Jayotis Lemosa, defending

Mr Harvey said the shunting caused a gap to appear and as another
neighbour, Jamie Upchurch, bravely went to block the exit, he was forced to dive for cover as the BMW fled the scene.

Archer then drove home and tried to hide his car as police arrived and arrested him. Tests later showed he was three-and-a-half times over the legal drink drive limit.

The court heard how £1,800 worth of damage was caused to Ms Wilkinson’s car, and £500 to the fence.

Jayotis Lemosa, defending, said “Once he had started, panic had locked him in but he accepts that at numerous points he could have stopped.

“He accepts he should not have got into his car and he accepts he put several people in danger by the way he drove and he wishes to express his remorse.”

The judge, Recorder Christopher Stirling told him: “You drove in heavy traffic along Trinity Road, putting other people in danger.

“Ms Wilkinson followed you to warn other drivers and you must have
been aware of her tooting but you ignored that.

"I consider her injuries very serious injuries and the fact they weren’t more serious
is down to good fortune.”

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