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Road crash driver keeps licence

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:10 01 July 2010

A 61-year-old driver who was involved in a crash which left two teenagers with life-changing injuries has been found guilty of driving without due care and attention but has been allowed to keep his driving licence.

A 61-year-old driver who was involved in a crash which left two teenagers with life-changing injuries has been found guilty of driving without due care and attention but has been allowed to keep his driving licence.

Jonathan Walland, of School Close in Knapton, near North Walsham, was driving a Peugeot car on July 24 last year, which was involved in a crash at the junction of Grammar School Road and Norwich Road in North Walsham at around 8pm, when he hit two teenagers, Hilary Capps and Ross Ellis.

Both were left with serious injuries and needing intensive care treatment.

At Cromer Magistrates' Court yesterday, prosecutor Rob Warner outlined some of the injuries Mr Ellis, who was thrown on to the windscreen of the car, had received, including a cut from his ear down to his cheek, damage to his liver and various fractures.

He said Mr Ellis, who was due to join the army but has put his plans on hold while he recovers from his injuries, also had bolts and screws holding together his ankle, which was fractured in the accident.

Ms Capps, who had just graduated with a diploma in dance around the time of the accident and had been planning to move to London for work, received a serious head injury which involved surgeons having to remove the front section of her skull.

Mr Warner said: “She has serious concerns about whether she can pursue dance, as she has scars, some of which are prominent. She has also been diagnosed with epilepsy which she did not have before the accident, and has problems with her short- term memory.”

Walland, who entered the court in a wheelchair, had admitted in a police interview that he had made “a minor error of judgment” in his driving.

He said he had braked after seeing two of the group of youths step back into the road from a crossing island and had been concentrating on them and had missed Mr Ellis and Ms Capps in the road.

Mitigating, Richard Clews said: “He was driving normally, within the speed limit and through a green light.”

Magistrates fined him £800 and put six points on his licence, giving him a total of 14 points after a separate conviction in October last year, also for driving without due care and attention, making him liable for disqualification,

However, he was allowed to keep his licence after pleading exceptional hardship, claiming he would be unable to care for his wife who suffered from a variety of illnesses.

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