Passengers hurt when car overturned in Wrexham lane

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A young man ignored warnings to slow down, lost control of his car on a country lane and it overturned a number of times, ending up in a hedge.

One of his passengers, Kerry Evans, suffered a broken collar bone and other injuries.

Richard Jones, 20, denied a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving but after the trial opened at Mold Crown Court he changed his plea to guilty. He was spared an immediate prison sentence.

Judge Niclas Parry said that day Jones took a risk and was “probably showing off”.

“Driving a motor vehicle brings with it responsibility,” said the judge. “When that responsibility is breached there can be serious consequences.

“This could have been far worse.”

But he added Jones was a young man with qualities, a hard worker with no real convictions and he had acted out of character.

He had made a mistake, he was young and while his guilty plea was late the victim did not have to give evidence.

Jones, of Coed y Nant, Penycae, received a six month youth custody sentence, suspended for a year and he was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

He must pay £500 compensation to Mr Evans.

He was also banned from driving for two years and the judge ordered him to take an extended driving test.

The court heard Jones denied he was speeding and claimed he had to take evasive action to avoid something in the road, possibly a sheep, at Lambpit Street in Penycae in December 2016. He had four passengers in the vehicle at the time.

Barrister Maria Massellis, prosecuting, said Jones had been to pick up the complainant from a college near Ruthin and was driving him home with two female passengers up the Nant y Garth Pass and through Coedpoeth.

Mr Evans, who was in the rear passenger side seat, asked him to slow down and he did so initially.

But it was alleged he was driving at somewhere between 60mph and 70mph on a country lane when the crash happened.

The prosecutor said such a speed was unacceptable in the conditions and was inherently dangerous.

Jones was driving erratically as if he was “driving a go-kart” and she suggested he was possibly showing off.

Jones was asked to slow down but took no head of the warnings, Miss Massellis alleged.

He lost control for no apparent reason and the Renault Clio overturned a number of times and came to rest in a hedge.

The collision left Mr Evans, who himself was vulnerable, with a broken collar bone and other injuries.

In a victim impact statement he told how he already suffered from depression and the injury, which had been painful for some time, had a detrimental effect on him both physically and mentally.

The injury had prevented him from being able to physically train.

Barrister Phillip Clemo, defending, said that his client had suffered depression since the incident but he had got himself a job, could use public transport and things were going well for him.

He had a supportive family and it was clear his job was having a positive effect upon him.

A pre-sentence report showed he was suitable for unpaid work under a suspended sentence, Mr Clemo said.

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