Drink-driver left woman injured in her car after Northampton road accident

A man from Northampton fled an accident he had caused while over the drink-drive limit at the wheel, leaving an injured woman at the scene.

Magistrates in Northampton heard that Sean Scarley, who has never passed a driving test, took his partner’s red Peugeot from their home in Old Quarry Court, Lumbertubs, in the early hours of the morning.

He got as far as Rectory Farm Road before he smashed into another car, from which he then drove off without checking to see how the other driver was.

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By this time, his mother had called police - telling them Scarley was “driving round drunk, like an idiot” - and an officer spotted the Peugeot, which was now back in Old Quarry Road.

Ian Johnson, prosecuting, said: “The officer pulled up close and saw a man sitting in the car and trying unsuccessfully to start it.

“The officer removed the keys from the ignition. The gentleman wasn’t making much sense due alcohol.”

A roadside breath test was carried out and showed the 35-year-old was more than three times over the legal alcohol limit for driving.

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Scarley pleaded guilty to having no licence - which he put down to being scared of taking the theory test due to his dyslexia - and no insurance.

He denied drink-driving, failing to stop after a road accident and failing to report the crash to police but was found guilty after a trial.

Magistrates were told Monday’s sentencing was almost three years after the crimes took place - on August 20, 2013 - which, the court heard, was down to delays by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Scarley’s crimes were linked to others that were sent to Northampton Crown Court and dealt with in 2013, not long after the events took place.

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However, the less serious crimes should have been sent back for magistrates to deal with as soon as crown court matters had concluded.

An error meant that did not happen, however.

The mistake may have inadvertently helped keep Scarley out of prison.

Magistrate Janet Denman told him the bench had been minded to pass a sentence of 18 weeks in jail.

But, noting the fact he had “managed to stay out of trouble” during the delay of his trial, Mrs Denman said she was suspending Scarley’s sentence.

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Although he has no licence, he also was banned from driving for 26 months as well as ordered to pay £775 in trial costs and £200 to the injured woman.

Scarley told the court he planned to buy a motorbike and would not attempt to drive a car in future.

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