No mercy for crash driver

Jailed af­ter ex left with brain in­juries

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Front Page - Ian Bunt­ing

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.