Driver jailed for seriously injuring camper - Podington

22/11/2013

A spectator who had drunk heavily at a street car race event, then showed off in his own high powered car around tents on an adjoining campsite.

Thomas Montellier performed 'doughnuts' in the car with a 5.7 litre engine, but lost control with devastating results, a court heard today, Friday, 22 November 2013.

Another camper, who had not been drinking, had gone to fetch some items from the boot of his car when the Vauxhall Monaro ploughed into him and crushed him against the vehicle. The victim, David Andrews, received several fractures to his leg, and his shin bone was pushed through his calf muscle, Luton Crown Court was told. He has been unable to return to work as a forklift truck driver.

Montellier, 33, was found to be almost three times over the legal alcohol limit two hours after the incident at Santa Pod on 04 August this year.

The defendant, from The Avenue, Weymouth, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. He was jailed for 16 months and banned from driving for two years. He must take an extended driving test before regaining his licence.

Daniel Siong, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said The Ultimate Street Car event was held at Santa Pod in Podington, on the Bedfordshire/Northants border. Camping facilities were available for the weekend. Montellier admitted he had been drinking steadily since about 3pm when he decided to move his car at midnight. Witnesses saw him drive to a grass area and start performing 'doughnuts,' where the vehicle is spun round on a tight lock. He lost control and crashed into the BMW parked near another tent.

Rachel Ward, defending said: "His recollection is that he was not showing off, but lost control of the high powered vehicle on the grass probably due to his intoxication.

"He is genuinely remorseful and cannot bring himself to look at the photographs of the injuries. He thinks about it every day and can't sleep or eat."

She said he had never been convicted of a motoring offence before and had lost his job in the motor trade because of being disqualified. She said: "It is unlikely he will ever get a job in the industry again with these convictions."

Judge David Farrell QC told Montellier: "There is no doubt in my mind that under the influence of alcohol you decided to show off, but you lost control.

"The consequences of the collision have had a dramatic effect on Mr Andrew's life and his family. It was a totally avoidable incident. You were performing doughnuts in a small populated area, which was highly dangerous. It was reckless and stupid.

"You will also have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life."

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