Driver, 21, left paralysed after crashing into tree, court told

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Aaron Lee has appeared in court following a crash on North Walsham Road in Coltishall - Credit: Archant

A 21-year-old who has been paralysed from the waist down after crashing a car into a tree with two passengers on board has appeared in court. 

Aaron Lee, of Kingsway, North Walsham, has pleaded guilty to two counts of careless driving, as well as being above the specified drug-driving limit.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard on Friday that Lee had 600ug of the controlled drug, Benzoylecgonine, per litre of blood at the time. 

Lee, who turned up to court in a wheelchair, had crashed a Mercedes on North Walsham Road in Coltishall on December 4, 2020 while driving with a friend and his girlfriend in the car.

The defendant suffered a broken back and was paralysed from the waist down following the crash.

Lee's friend had suffered a broken thumb, broken nose and fractured vertebra as a result, while the friend's girlfriend was in hospital for just over a week with orbital and rib fractures. 

The court heard she had removed her seatbelt to take off her coat just before the crash occurred and had to be cut out of the car by emergency services.

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Ian Bridge, mitigating for Lee, said: "It leaves him in a position where he is suffering not just physical but also mental ill health." 

Mr Bridge asked deputy district judge Matthew Bone for a mental health treatment order. 

A pre-sentence report was ordered by Mr Bone for September 7 with all sentencing options on the table for the next hearing.

Lee was granted unconditional bail and was handed an interim two-year driving disqualification.