Pile-up drink-driver has jail sen­tence cut

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

A DRINK-driver who caused a five-car smash af­ter driv­ing at nearly four times the le­gal limit has had his jail-term cut by top judges.

The Ap­peal Court in London heard yes­ter­day how Va­ler­ijs Kruglovs (48) nearly killed him­self and a fam­ily of five with his dan­ger­ous driv­ing on the A47 Thor­ney by­pass, at Guy­hirn near Wis­bech, on April 20 last year.

Judge Michael Stokes QC, sit­ting in the Ap­peal Court with Lord Jus­tice Moses and Mr Jus­tice Hol­man, cut two months off the 26 month jail term Lat­vian na­tional Kruglovs, of East­ern Av­enue, Peter­bor­ough, was given on Fe­bru­ary 12 at Cam­bridge Crown Court, af­ter pre­vi­ously ad­mit­ting of­fences of dan­ger­ous driv­ing and driv­ing with ex­cess al­co­hol. He was also dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for five years.

The court heard in Fe­bru­ary that Kruglovs had drunk Stella Ar­tois beer all day be­fore go­ing to col­lect friends in his Vaux­hall Vectra. At around 5.40pm, it swerved across the Thor­ney by­pass be­fore crash­ing into a Mit­subishi, con­tain­ing Simon Spar­row, his wife Deb­bie and their chil­dren Grant (14), Lucy and Amy (both 16).

Mrs Spar­row and the chil­dren suf­fered cuts and bruises and mi­nor frac­tures, but the court heard they suf­fered flash­backs and two of the chil­dren have un­der­gone coun­selling.

Judge Stokes said: “Whilst all of them have made a rea­son­ably good re­cov­ery, the psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma con­tin­ues to af­fect them. They feel ex­tremely lucky to be alive and have night­mares about the col­li­sion.”

Dur­ing Kruglovs’ sen­tenc­ing in Fe­bru­ary, the court heard Mrs Spar­row has night­mares about her fam­ily dy­ing in a crash. She said: “I don’t think it will ever get any bet­ter. I can’t for­give some­one who drink-drives.”

A BMW driven by an­other mo­torist crashed into an­other Vaux­hall car af­ter swerv­ing to avoid the Spar­row’s rolling Mit­subishi. Kruglovs’ car con­tin­ued mov­ing and hit a trac­tor lorry, be­fore fi­nally com­ing to a stand­still.

Kruglovs was badly hurt, with sev­eral frac­tured ribs and dam­aged kid­neys and was treated in hos­pi­tal, where blood tests re­vealed his al­co­hol level was nearly four times above the le­gal limit of 80mg in 100ml of blood.

Lawyers act­ing for Kruglovs ar­gued the crown court judge had failed to give him enough credit for his early guilty plea when con­sid­er­ing the length of his sen­tence.

The ap­peal judges said the sen­tenc­ing judge was en­ti­tled not to give Kruglovs full credit be­cause of the “over­whelm­ing” ev­i­dence against him. How­ever, they de­cided not enough credit had been given. Judge Stokes said: “We have con­cluded an ap­pro­pri­ate dis­count must be given.”

SCENE: The Mit­subishi, car­ry­ing a fam­ily of five, was wrecked af­ter be­ing hit by Va­ler­ijs Kruglovs’ car in April last year.

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