A SERIAL drink driver who smashed into three cars after downing a bottle of wine has been spared jail – because she’s a WOMAN.
Victoria Parry was told by a female judge if she was a man “it would be straight down the stairs” to prison but was instead handed a suspended sentence and a driving ban.
The 30-year-old hit the vehicles and crashed into a ditch, before her Fiat Stilo burst into flames.
She was pulled from the wreck just off the A46 near Stratford-upon-Avon, on May 23 last year.
She was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and banned from driving for 24 months at Birmingham Crown Court.
A breathalsyer test showed she had 102 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – almost three times the legal limit of 35mcg.
The shop manager has two previous convictions for drink driving, and admitted dangerous driving at Warwick Crown Court in April.
She was given a chance to avoid prison time by Judge Sarah Buckingham, who said “if Miss Parry was a man, there is no question it would have been straight down the stairs”.
She did not elaborate or give any further reasoning as to why she might be spared for being female.
The judge added: “This is a shocking case of dangerous driving against a background of two previous convictions for excess alcohol.
“But this offence was committed in May 2018 and she has not been in trouble since.
“She has clearly got an alcohol problem. She is, whether she admits it or not, an alcoholic.”
Addressing Parry, she added: “You richly deserve an immediate custodial sentence of 18 months.
“I want to see whether you can really address the issues rather than paying lip service.
“If you succeed, I will not make the custody immediate. If you don’t comply, I will conclude that you are not worthy of the chance.”
The court heard Parry almost caused a major crash when she overtook into oncoming traffic before ploughing into three vehicles.
Prosecutor Tim Sapwell said: “Her driving was such that she caught the rear bumper of a van, and she next hit the wing mirror of a Vauxhall Insignia, and then the side of a BMW very heavily.
“She hit it with such force that the BMW’s rear wheel was knocked off and the car was written off.
“It caused her Fiat to spin in the road and go down the embankment into a wooded area where it caught fire.”
Other drivers rushed to her aid, including an off-duty police inspector who released her from her seat belt and pulled her out of the burning car.
He noticed she smelled of alcohol, and Parry told him that she had had a bottle of wine, telling him: “I shouldn’t be driving.”
The court heard Parry had been banned from driving for three years in July 2015 for her second excess alcohol offence.
Lucy Tapper, defending, said Parry started drinking up to two bottles of wine a day after being in an abusive relationship.
She said: “There is deep and genuine regret on her part.
“Having a crash presents its own consequences in terms of what you’ve done, and to have your car burst into flames is quite terrifying.
“She says she thought she was going to die. This has been a very salutary lesson to her.”