A lorry driver who was three times over the drink drive limit when he ploughed through cones and into a road worker in Corby has been jailed for six months.
Adam Mokrzycki, 46, was driving through the roadworks when he became confused and drove into the coned-off area, straight into victim Liam Stanners.
Mr Stanners was knocked off his feet to the ground.
Northampton Crown Court heard how Mokrzycki, who lives in the Polish town of Wegorzewo, had pleaded guilty to drink driving and to dangerous driving at an earlier hearing at Northampton Magistrates Court.
Immediately after the accident, Mokrzycki’s roadside breath test was 111 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol.
Mr Stanners had been working in a coned-off area at 1pm on Saturday, February 2, when the defendant drove his HGV into the back of him.
The court heard that the victim ‘didn’t see it coming’ and was ‘struck from behind by the full 40-tonne lorry.’
The force of the lorry propelled him forward and he fell to the ground.
When he got out of the lorry, the court heard that Mokryzcki was ‘very apologetic’ although he was heard to use the words ‘how much?’
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Stanners, who is from Birmingham and was in court to hear Friday’s verdict, said: “In the first couple of weeks I struggled to sleep and kept thinking about the accident, waking up after a few hours, feeling down and anxious.”
The court was told that the victim, who was in court along with his family to hear the verdict, did not receive any serious physical injuries but had suffered from headaches since the accident and had five days off work, costing him hundreds in lost wages.
The statement went on: “He doesn’t feel comfortable doing his job and is minded to give it up.”
In mitigation, barrister Natalie Carter said that Mokrzycki had been driving for 23 years and had no previous convictions in this country or in Poland. She said that his wife and 18 and 22-year-old children, who are both in full time education, were dependent on his wage.
Miss Carter said: “He’s ashamed of himself because of the serious injury that could have been caused and because of the shame it’s brought on him and his family.”
The court heard how Mokrzycki had made a guilty plea at his first court hearing and had made full admissions during the police interview.
“Mr Mokrzycki had been working in the UK since January,” said Miss Carter.
“He’d been working at least five days here every week and hadn’t yet got round to finding accommodation,.
“He was parking up in the truck and sleeping. There were days when he didn’t work.”
The court was told that Saturday, February 2, was one of those days where the defendant was not due to work. But, the morning after drinking some homemade wine, he received a phonecall from his boss asking him to collect some paperwork from a nearby factory.
“He didn’t want to let his employer down,” said Miss Carter.
Asking the judge to consider a suspended prison sentence, she added that Mokrzycki had never been to prison, did not speak English and the prospect of him being able to complete community service in the UK was low because he would not now have a driving licence.
Her Honour Judge Rebecca Crane said: “When interviewed, you said you’d made a mistake.
“After having dinner with wine you claimed that the road worker jumped in front of you.
“It’s a very high reading - over three times the legal limit.
“It was lucky that there was not more serious injury to Mr Stanners.
“The offence is serious and crosses the custody threshold.”
Mokrzycki was sentenced to six months in prison for the dangerous driving offence and two months for drink driving to run concurrently.
He will be released after three months on licence.
He was also banned from driving for two years and three months and ordered to pay compensation to the victim of £600.
Following Friday’s court case, Liam Stanners’s mum said that she had spoken to her son on the phone immediately after the accident and had been terrified that he was seriously injured. Mr Stanners said: “I think it’s a fair sentence.
“It sends a message to people to not get in their vehicle when they’ve been drinking.
“It could have been a lot worse.
“It wasn’t just a little push - it flung me for some distance. It was very scary. I hope he’s learned a lesson.”