Coventry & Warwickshire

Judge faces no action over drink-driver 'being a woman' remark

Victoria Parry Image copyright Paul Beard
Image caption Victoria Parry admitted dangerous driving and driving while disqualified

A judge who said a drink-driver deserved a chance to avoid jail because she is a woman will not face sanctions.

Victoria Parry, 31, collided with three vehicles which caused her Fiat to spin off the A46, near Stratford-upon-Avon.

In April, Judge Sarah Buckingham was investigated after she said Parry would have gone "straight down the stairs" to jail if she was a man.

But the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) said there was now no "outstanding complaint".

Parry, of Bearley, Strafford-upon-Avon, hit a van's rear bumper, a Vauxhall Insignia's wing mirror and the side of a BMW in the crash on 23 May last year.

She was found to be almost three times the legal limit and later admitted dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Her lawyers said she had a "considerable drink problem" after a 15-year abusive relationship.

'Death threats'

Judge Buckingham deferred sentencing for three-months in April to see if Parry could address her issues.

When Parry returned to Warwick Crown Court on Monday, she was handed an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.

Parry's lawyer Kane Sharpe said his client had "positively engaged" with all the judge's conditional requirements, including abstaining from alcohol, attending daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and seeking private counselling.

He said Parry had "sadly and deeply unfairly" lost her job as a shop worker, had been trolled over the internet and received death threats following the case.

During sentencing, Judge Buckingham said the dangerous driving was "dreadful and appalling" and it was "merciful" no-one was injured.

She said: "Prison was richly deserved but the court wanted to see if any positive changes could be made and sustained."

Judge Buckingham said she would honour her previous indication not to send Parry to prison after it was "definitely clear to see what progress you would make".

Parry was also banned from driving for two years and will undertake a 12-month rehabilitation requirement.

A complaint over the judge's comments in April was received by the JCIO.

But a JCIO spokeswoman said: "There is no outstanding complaint against Judge Buckingham in relation to the remarks made in Warwick Crown Court in April."

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