What shall we do with a drunken sailor? Give him 28 days in jail

A CAPTAIN who was nearly four-and-a-half times over the limit when he crashed twice into lockgates has been sentenced to 28 days in jail.

Viatcheslav Poleshchuk, 44, asked police: “Can I have another go?” after hitting the lockgates at Goole on the Humber.

Sentencing at Hull Crown Court, Judge Michael Mettyear said he wanted to send out a message that such conduct was unacceptable.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: “This was absolutely disgraceful conduct to be nearly four-and-a-half times the legal limit and in charge of a massive boat. I accept there was no immediate danger to anyone’s life, but there were others on board.

“When someone has a drink as you did in charge of a ship, anything could happen. Really there is no excuse or mitigation.”

The sentencing had been deferred for the prosecution and the judge to examine the results of previous cases.

Information from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency showed that all cases involved eastern European captains which had resulted in fines or sentences as long as eight months. The judge said: “It does seem a person as drunk as you were must expect an immediate custodial sentence.”

Poleshchuk’s barrister Paul Norton told the court a week in jail had represented “a massive plunge from grace, bearing in mind only a few weeks ago he was master of his own ship”.

Poleshchuk, from Rostov, Russia, who admitted at an earlier hearing being over the prescribed limit for a master, was told he would serve the jail sentence, less the days already spent in prison. He was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay costs of £250 and a victim’s surcharge of £15.