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Drunken driver jailed for erratic escapade at wheel in east Durham
A DRUNKEN motorist was lucky not to cause serious injury during an erratic driving escapade, a court heard.
Simon Paul Faulkner, who has never previously served a custodial sentence, was jailed for a year after a court recorder told him it was, “as bad a case of dangerous driving that could possibly be imagined.”
Durham Crown Court heard that Faulkner was drinking cider at his partner’s home, in South Hetton, from the morning of Sunday May 20.
Adrian Dent, prosecuting, said he was seen at the wheel of his Ford Mondeo, overtaking a Vauxhall Corsa, driven by his partner’s friend, at speed approaching nearby Hawthorn Village, at about 4pm.
Mr Dent said the Mondeo careered to the left at a junction, drove up and down in front of the Corsa.
Later, entering Seaham, the Mondeo shunted the Corsa into a car in front, causing it to ‘bounce’ over the road, into a wall, in The Avenue, Deneside.
The front seat Corsa passenger hit his head off the windscreen, but Faulkner, who appeared drunk, went over and reached in, apparently trying to grab him.
He was pushed away before returning to the Mondeo and driving off at speed.
Both the female driver and male passenger in the Corsa received hospital treatment for whiplash and other injuries, while the car suffered £1,500-worth of damage.
Mr Dent told the court it emerged Faulkner also collided with two parked vehicles in South Hetton.
Police saw him approaching his home, in Ryton Crescent, Seaham, drinking a can of lager, apparently very drunk, shortly afterwards.
He claimed not to know where the car was parked, but it was recovered nearby.
When arrested he refused to give a breath sample and claimed he previously sold the Mondeo, denying having been the driver that day.
But, at a plea hearing, 27-year-old Faulkner admitted dangerous driving, failing to report an accident, plus having no licence or insurance.
Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said: “I have to concede it was a dangerous situation for those in that car and other road-users at the time.
“He doesn’t have a long criminal history, but it’s all for driving matters and he’s never been in custody before.”
Jailing him, Recorder Simon Brown told Faulkner: “This is as bad a case of dangerous driving that can be imagined.
“It’s your good fortune you did not cause serious injury, but you caused a good deal of damage.”
He also banned Faulkner from driving for 18 months.
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