A MAN who crashed his car after taking an ‘obscene’ amount of cocaine was told he had behaved with ‘severe selfishness’ by a judge.

Jonathan Hay left the woman driver of the other car, who had her 80-year-old mother and four-year-old granddaughter with her, severely shaken after his car ploughed into hers.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court that Hay crashed his Ford Fiesta into the victim’s Suzuki when he went through a red light at the junction of Hart Lane and Jesmond Road on January 30.

The Northern Echo:

His heavily pregnant partner was in court to see the 35-year-old, of Clifford Close, Hartlepool, get sentenced after he pleaded guilty to driving whilst under the influence of drugs, dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving with no insurance.

In mitigation, Matthew Collins, said his client wishes to apologise to the woman after his ‘error of judgement’ when he got behind the wheel of his car.

Mr Collins told the court that Hay’s sister had written a letter of support to the court saying he the crash happened when her brother was in a ‘maelstrom’ of emotion at the time, following the death of his grandmother and a custody battle.

Urging the judge to show his client leniency, he added: “It will be a very bleak Christmas for his partner and her young baby, if this defendant is locked up.”

Deputy Circuit Judge Jim Spencer QC told the defendant it was time he took responsibility for his actions after crashing.

“You have been through a phase of severe selfishness; you believe the whole world is against you, so you took cocaine and you took Diazepam,” he said.

“When you set off you had taken £400 worth of cocaine in one session, plus some other drugs, and then you jumped in the car and drove into a busy part of the town.

“It is not surprising to me that the woman whose car you collided with was upset by it – she must have been shaken very badly.

“You knew your family would rally round and write letters of support and everybody would say ‘poor, poor’ Jonathan Hay but you know there has to be time for recognition and that time is now.

“It shows you to be a criminal; totally disregarding others and their safety, doing just what you want and then claiming the whole world is against you; that you’re the victim and that you are suffering – you know it doesn’t wash, I’m sorry to say. You’re too old for that.

“You may be able to say that as a child but you are a man and you have responsibilities, not only to yourself but to the other people in your community.”

Hay was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years and banned from driving for three years for driving over the legal drug limit. He was given a concurrent two-year ban for dangerous driving but no separate penalty for failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.