Woman jailed for hit and run on St Mark’s Avenue, Salisbury

A WOMAN who left a teenager with serious injuries including a collapsed lung has been jailed.

Paula Stanford, of Denison Rise, appeared at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on Thursday February 3 for sentencing after admitting driving a Vauxhall Astra that failed to stop after an accident, driving without due care and attention and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

She was given a concurrent sentence of 18 weeks as well as a driving disqualification of 36 months.

The offences happened on the night of August 6 last year.

The victim, who was 16 at the time, had been on his way home that evening after seeing a friend and was driving on St Mark’s Avenue towards the roundabout.

Stanford’s vehicle swerved across the road into the victim’s bike. She did not stop and was seen driving away from the scene.

A witness said they heard the victim scream and an ambulance an police were called.

The teenager sustained injuries including a collapsed lung, broken wrist, facial injuries, dislocated knee as well as a cardiac arrest at the roadside.

The court heard the driver did not stop at the scene and police located the vehicle, which had sustained damage in the incident, at the defendant’s home address.

She denied driving the car or knowing how it had been damaged.

The court heard that when officers spoke to the defendant she was slurring her speech.

A roadside reading of 111 microgrammes was given and the 54-year-old was subsequently arrested and taken to Melksham Police Station where she refused to give a specimen for analysis.

Prosecutor Charles Nightingale told the court the victim was in the process of joining the army and it had been his ambition for some years to join the infantry.

However, due to his medical record the army had said no, which had been a “huge disappointment” for the victim. But he hoped his injuries would strengthen and he would be able to apply again in the future.

Mr Nightingale added: “This is a significant impact on a young person just driving home from seeing his friend.”

Defending, William Griffiths read a letter from the defendant which sent her deepest apologies to the victim for the pain and distress caused.

She was “horrified” when the detective read out the charges when she was interviewed and “couldn’t believe what she had done” which made her “feel sick”.

The court heard she had no memory of the incident and had since sought help from Turning Point in relation to alcohol use.

She said months prior to the incident she had felt low and anxious and had booked an appointment with her GP about going on HRT. She was acting out of character.

In her letter she hoped the victim could “forgive my selfish actions” which will never ever be repeated.

Mr Griffiths said she had learnt her lessons from this and sought help from Turning Point herself and needed to manage her health issues without using alcohol as a crutch.

The chair of the magistrates’ bench Alix Smith said the incident was not just a case of careless driving and the defendant had “knocked an innocent young man” from his bike, as well as “deliberately failing to stop and check on the victim, lying to police about driving and refusing to provide a specimen at the police station.”

She added that had the incident not been witnessed “this young man might have died”.

Stanford was also ordered to pay £128 in court costs and a £85 surcharge.


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