Danger driver who caused Havant head-on crash jailed for six months

A DANGEROUS driver who caused a head-on crash has been jailed for six months.

By Annie Lewis
Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 8:11 am

Michael Fenton, 45, of Froxfield Road, West Leigh, admitted dangerous driving, drug-driving, and driving without insurance or a licence.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard he caused a crash at Bartons Road, Havant, on December 12, 2019.

Fenton, who was driving a silver Seat, had 35mg of alcohol in breath when tested and was later found to have 73mg of cocaine in his blood. He was not prosecuted for drink-driving.

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A file photo of Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: César Moreno Huerta

The defendant, who has 31 previous convictions, drove on the wrong side of the road colliding with Havant Borough Council worker Mark Westrope’s van at 2pm on December 12.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Westrope said: ‘I saw a vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road and I didn’t have time to react. It caused my van to spin around and was thrown off the road.

‘The aftermath of the accident has left me with flashbacks throughout the day as I see a silver light flash before me.’

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Mr Westrope, a cleaner, said he initially had pain in his shoulder, his hand was bleeding and he had to crawl out of the passenger side. Meanwhile Fenton, who had a passenger in the car with him, had to be cut from the car.

Prosecuting, Gareth Burrows said: ‘Mr Westrope has only been able to drive short distances since the accident.’

Fenton’s previous convictions include a spate of theft and shoplifting, with his most recent in July 2019, as well as producing controlled drugs in 2016 and grievous bodily harm in 2013.

Mitigating, defence barrister Robert Harding said: ‘It was the first time he had been clean of drugs since the 1990s, when he had problems with cannabis.’

However, judge William Ashworth, said: ‘Someone could have been more seriously injured when they are unable to save (themselves) from the action of another, giving anybody that shivering feeling that no one is safe.’

Due to Fenton’s ‘high risk of future offending’ and ‘history of poor compliance with court orders’, the judge sentenced him to six months in jail.

Turning to Fenton’s mother at the end of the court case, judge Ashworth said: ‘I am sorry about what I have had to do today.’

Fenton pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court earlier this year.

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