Dan­ger driver in­jured three

Sunderland Echo - - News - Copy­desk.north­east@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

A banned driver who in­jured three peo­ple when he got be­hind the wheel af­ter a birth­day drugs binge has been put be­hind bars.

Paul Clark’s Volvo burst into flames af­ter he caused a trail of dev­as­ta­tion while try­ing to get away from the po­lice.

New­cas­tle Crown Court heard the se­rial road men­ace, who had turned 28 that day in June, was high on di­azepam, dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing and on bail for an­other mo­tor­ing of­fence.

A judge said the chaos he caused on the roads, which was cap­tured on po­lice cam­era, made “ter­ri­fy­ing view­ing”.

By the time he was ar­rested, Clark had caused whiplash to one driver, caused ex­ten­sive bruis­ing to a mo­torist whose ve­hi­cle was “thrown into the air” and left his own pas­sen­ger need­ing com­plex surgery to a bro­ken arm.

The court heard Clark had come to the at­ten­tion of the po­lice when he failed to give way on West­gate Av­enue, in Sun­der­land.

When he re­alised the of­fi­cers had seen him, Clark “re­versed a sub­stan­tial dis­tance” and smashed into a car be­hind, which caused whiplash to the driver, then “sped away”.

The court heard po­lice ac­ti­vated lights and sirens but Clark re­fused to stop.

Two-and-a-half min­utes later, while trav­el­ling at more than 60mph on the wrong side of the road on North Moor Lane, which has a 30mph limit, Clark’s ve­hi­cle clipped a kerb and spun out of con­trol.

Mr recorder Paul Gre­anie QC told him: “You crashed, head on, into a Ford Cougar, which was on the cor­rect side of the road.

“The Cougar was thrown into the air. “Your ve­hi­cle caught fire.” The court heard the driver of the Cougar had “ex­ten­sive bruis­ing”, bruised ribs and his nose bled pro­fusely.

Clark’s pas­sen­ger, who said he had been “driv­ing like an id­iot to get away from the po­lice”, needed surgery to fit bolts and plates to his badly bro­ken arm.

Clark, of Pem­broke Av­enue, Sun­der­land, who has been con­victed nine times for driv­ing while banned in the past, pleaded guilty to caus­ing se­ri­ous in­jury by dan­ger­ous driv­ing, driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied, hav­ing no in­sur­ance, fail­ing to stop and possess­ing small amounts of cannabis and other drugs, which were found af­ter he was ar­rested .

He was sen­tenced to twoand-a-half years in jail with a five year road ban.

The judge told him: “More than one per­son was in­jured, in­deed three were in­jured in to­tal.

“This was a truly ap­palling piece of driv­ing by a man who was af­fected by drugs, dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing, on bail and with a dread­ful record.

“It was a pro­longed, per­sis­tent and de­lib­er­ate course of very bad driv­ing.”

Nick Lane, de­fend­ing, said the drugs Clark was caught with were for his own use and added: “It was his birth­day”.

Mr Lane said Clark is de­ter­mined to “kick his habit” and stay out of trouble in fu­ture.

He added: “He is very keen an apol­ogy is made on his be­half.

“He is de­ter­mined to prove, upon his re­lease, he can put of­fend­ing be­hind him and be­come a re­li­able and de­cent mem­ber of so­ci­ety.

“He wishes to never drive again.”

North Moor Lane, where the ac­ci­dent oc­curred.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.