No mercy for crash driver
Jailed after ex left with brain injuries
A boozed- up motorist whose dangerous driving led to his then-partner suffering a severe brain injury that left her wheelchair- bound has been jailed for four years. James Stocks, 35, was more than double the drink- drive limit when he got behind the wheel and drove through Glenmavis before ploughing his car into a wall on Airdrie’s Common head Street.
The incident had tragic consequences for Stocks’ then-girlfriend Nicola Mears, who was a passenger in the car, and a sheriff dismissed Stocks’ lawyer’s plea for leniency by telling Stocks he “couldn’t imagine a more serious matter” and had no alternative but to send him to prison.
At the time of the collision in October 2015, the Advertiser reported on how an unconscious Nicola had to be cut from the silver Vauxhall Astra by firefighters – who had to remove the car roof to free
her – and was left fighting for her life in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow with “catastrophic” injuries. Nicola is now confined to a wheelchair and “needs daily care”, the court was told.
During the ill-fated journey, Stocks, of Castle Douglas, drove dangerously on a closed road, collided with road signs, drove at excessive speeds of up to 60mph, crossed on to a carriageway on the opposite side of the road and overtook other vehicles.
His driving caught the eye of a marked police car but when Stocks was signalled to stop on Commonhead Street, he lost control of the car, striking a kerb and mounting a footpath before smashing into the wall and a lamppost.
It was found that Stocks had driven with 102 milligrammes of alcohol in his system – more than twice the 50 milligramme limit.
He pled guilty to the charges at Airdrie Sheriff Court and following the completion of background reports, returned to the dock for sentencing last week. His defence solicitor highlighted that Stocks had never spent time behind bars and appealed for a community- based disposal, saying in mitigation: “There is a report and it’s a positive one.
“He is genuinely remorseful and accepts he is in such a grave position as custody will be at the forefront of your lordship’s mind.
“I would ask your lordship to give consideration to a discounted sentence.
“He had been in full- time employment but since the incident has not been in work. There are no underlying difficulties with alcohol.
“He would have a tremendous amount to offer in a community payback situation.
“He is a person who has never been in custody before and has no other cases outstanding.”
But Sheriff Frank Pieri told Stocks he had no option but to send him to prison, saying: “I hear everything that has been said on your behalf, but the fact remains that this is an extremely serious matter – in fact, it is difficult to imagine a more serious matter.
“The injuries caused to your partner due to your driving were catastrophic and life-changing. She is wheelchair- bound and needs daily care.
“I can only deal with this by way of a custodial sentence.”
Due to the fact Stocks pled guilty, the sheriff jailed him for 47 months on the dangerous driving charge and six months for drinkdriving, to be served concurrently.
Stocks was also disqualified from driving for a total of six years.
Wreck Ex-partner had to be cut from car