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Marathon star jailed for six months on drink-driving charges

Marathon runner Lamont Marshall in action

A top marathon runner was jailed for six months yesterday and banned from the roads for five years after the island’s top magistrate blasted his drink-driving record.

Magistrates’ Court heard that Lamont Marshall, 36, was sent to DUI Court for drink driving and driving while disqualified.

But he was returned to Magistrates’ Court after he left the DUI programme.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe said: “The defendant’s history is simply appalling.

“Over the last few years he has had four impaired driving convictions – one of which resulted in grievous bodily harm.”

Mr Wolffe added that, because Marshall had left DUI Court, which he was referred to in April, he posed a “significant danger” to himself and others.

Mahogany Bean, for the Crown, told the court that Marshall had quit DUI Court after he started drinking and breached his bail conditions.

She added that he was an example of the island’s “extremely bad habit” of drink-driving and that the court was duty-bound to tackle the problem.

She asked for a suspended sentence of 18 months, a fine of $4,000 and a five-year driving ban.

Marshall, from Devonshire, pleaded guilty on April 8 to drink-driving, driving while disqualified and refusing to take a breath test.

The court heard that police stopped Marshall’s car as he drove in an “erratic manner” along South Road, near Warwick Camp, on April 1.

An officer attempted to speak to Marshall, but he sped off.

Marshall was seen to ignore stop signs and drive on the wrong side of the road at times.

The court was told he almost crashed into a wall at the Botanical Gardens in Paget.

Marshall pulled over on Berry Hill Road, Paget, after other police cars used specialist equipment to stop him near the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Officers saw several alcohol containers on the front passenger seat of the car.

Marshall told police that he worked at the hospital and was on his way start his shift.

He admitted he had been drinking, but told officers that he did not know how much he had consumed.

Marshall was arrested and taken to Hamilton Police Station, where he refused to take a breath test.

Police found that Marshall had been banned from the roads on June 12, 2020 until December 11 this year.

They also discovered his driver’s licence expired on July 22 last year.

Marshall admitted when questioned that he knew he had been banned and that his licence had expired.

Marshall told the court that he had not given up on his sobriety and planned to attend a separate addiction programme.

He appealed for any jail sentence to be suspended because he had a daughter and a pregnant wife.

But Mr Wolffe ruled a suspended sentence was too lenient because there was no guarantee Marshall would not reoffend.

Mr Wolffe also fined Marshall $3,000 and ordered him to pay inside three months of his release from prison.

Marshall is a three-times Bermuda Half Marathon Derby winner and Bermuda 5,000 metres record-holder.

He was also a high-profile campaigner for an end to military conscription on the island, which was abolished in 2018.

Marshall discussed his problems with alcohol in an interview in The Royal Gazette in June, which can be read here.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.