A RECKLESS Royal Navy sailor broke his girlfriend’s back and left her ‘fearing she would die’ when he crashed while ‘showing off’ in his car.
Careless Callum Hobbs smashed his Ford Fiesta ST into a garden wall in Gosport after tearing through residential streets at 92mph.
The 20-year-old had been driving with his lover, Serena Hampton, and another man on the night of March 19 when he lost control of his motor, leaving all three wounded.
Portsmouth-based sailor Hobbs, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, has now been jailed for 18 months, leaving his ‘promising’ naval career in tatters.
Speaking after the sentencing. PC Robert Lewis from the Hampshire’s roads policing unit, said: ‘Hobbs not only put his own life in danger, by reaching extreme speeds in a residential area, but the lives of his passengers, and members of the public’
Portsmouth Crown Court heard how Hobbs - a communications specialist in the navy - had ‘gunned’ it’ along Tichborne Way after seeing a ‘clear’ road ahead.
Just moments later, he was warned by the male passenger to slow down after ‘almost hitting a bus’ travelling in the opposite direction.
Instead, Hobbs increased speed before losing control and slamming into a garden wall at about 50mph.
Harrowing footage, recorded on Hobbs’ dash cam, was played in court showing the moments before the impact.
The shamed sailor held his head in his hands, listening to the sound of his screaming passengers as his car crashed.
Ms Hampton, who wept in court while the video played, suffered a fractured spine, and severe injuries to her bowel - both of which required surgery.
In a victim impact statement read out by prosecutor Jeffrey Lamb, the 20-year-old said she had been left traumatised.
‘I constantly relive the events of that evening,’ she said. ‘I recall my fear at seeing smoke and thinking that the car was going to blow up with me inside of it.
‘When I close my eyes at night I see this happening and I have flashbacks of how I laid on the ground [after climbing out of the car], crying out for someone to find me.’
Ms Hampton was taken to Southampton General Hospital to undergo surgery to repair three tears to her bowel and have a metal plate fitted to her spine.
The injuries have left her needing constant pain medication and suffering from severe mood swings and flashbacks.
‘I have often said that I had wish I died that night,’ she added.
Defending, Daniel Reilly said Hobbs - formerly of Ipswich but who was based at HMS Nelson at the time of the crash - would lose his ‘promising’ naval career if he was jailed.
He added his client was ‘extremely remorseful’ and said: ‘He is someone who is desperately sorry for what has done but most sorry for the consequences that his driving had.
‘It is good fortune that we are thankfully in a position where we are not dealing with a case involving potentially three deaths.’
Judge William Ashworth said Hobbs’ appalling driving warranted an immediate custodial sentence.
He said Hobbs was lucky not to have crashed head-on with the bus after his car’s back end ‘kicked out’ as it lost traction.
He said: ‘You were attempting to show your prowess and the vehicle’s prowess to these two other people.
‘The moment you had a relatively clear road ahead of you… you immediately drove the vehicle as if you were at a race track.
‘The engine can be heard from the way it was gunned. The driving is obviously far, far, far too fast for any concept of safety within a residential area.
Hobbs, who had no previous convictions, was will serve half his sentence in a young offenders’ institute before being released on licence. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended re-test after this to get his licence back.
He wept as he was led out of the dock.