May 26 2013 Latest news:
By DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
A man was jailed yesterday for causing a serious crash after a judge told him he had shown no concerns for road safety and caused a couple to believe they were going to die.
Jonathan Spray, 40, who told police he wanted “to end it all,” drove his Honda on the wrong side of the A149 at Worstead in March, Norwich Crown Court was told.
Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, read a statement from Barry Dorrington and his partner Amanda Davies, in which they described the moment of impact as “happening in slow motion” after Mr Dorrington had to stamp on his brakes to avoid crashing.
“Mrs Davies remembers the man looking at their vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel and as Mr Dorrington pulled the car to the left to avoid a collision, the corners of the two cars collided,” he said.
“Their Range Rover hit an old-fashioned wooden telegraph pole and she thought the Honda driver was dead.”
Mr Dorrington heard Spray calling for help and when he went over to him, Spray said: “Sorry mate it was my fault. I’ve had a bad day and no one likes me.”
When police arrived on the scene Spray went on to say he had “lost everything” and was breathalysed.
All three were taken to hospital where Spray refused to give a blood sample.
The crash caused £11,250 of damage to the couple’s car and Mrs Davies suffered burns to her abdomen from the air bag, whiplash, a knee injury and bruising to her torso. She is still suffering from flashbacks.
During interview with road traffic officers, Spray, of Birch Close, North Walsham, denied deliberately driving into the car but added: “I want to be free, I want to end it all, I want to die”.
But he denied it was an attempted to commit suicide.
Michael Clare, for Spray, said since the accident he had “completely turned his life around”.
He now works full-time as a care assistant, recently got engaged, regularly attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and medical appointments, and takes medication for stress and depression.
Mr Clare added that he was a man of previous good character and his main focus in life was his 11-year-old daughter.
But recorder Katherine Moore said Spray had shown no regard for other people’s safety and highlighted previous road traffic offences including fixed penalties in 2008 and 2009 for speeding and driving while using a mobile.
“You are clearly a family man who is devoted to his child,” she said. “That should mean you, more than anyone else, is concerned about road safety. Both passengers thought they were going to die – you were coming straight for them.
“There was nothing Mr Dorrington could do and it was good fortune no one died.
“All this is worse because you were under the influence of alcohol.”
Spray pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failure to provide a sample. He received concurrent sentences of 13 months imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for two years.