Man Jailed after Friend is Left Disabled in Crash
A 23 year old man from Stevenage has been charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving after he and a friend collided with an oncoming vehicle whilst racing each other.
Clayton Kentsley and Connell Burgham were racing each other in separate cars in Welwyn Garden City when Burgham collided with another vehicle after losing control on a bend.
According to a witness, Kentsley had been tailgating Burgham moments before the crash. When approaching a left-hand bend, Kentsley pulled out into the oncoming lane and Burgham increased his speed.
Kentsly then pulled back in behind Burgham’s vehicle just before the bend, avoiding the crash, whilst Burgham lost control and swerved into the path of an oncoming car.
Judge Stephen Warner said that both men had been speeding, but could not conclude as to how much over the 30mph limit this was.
Burgham now requires constant supervision and cannot work after suffering life-changing head and neck injuries in the crash. He also suffered a personality disorder due to the incident and medics have said that it is unlikely he will ever recover.
Burgham was not the only person injured in the collision however. A five year old boy was in the back seat of the car which collided with Burgham’s vehicle and he sustained a serious injury that required surgery, whilst the driver – his father – suffered a broken elbow.
In October, Kentsley pleaded not guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to an offence of dangerous driving. He was found guilty on both counts.
Appearing in court for sentencing, Judge Warner told Kentsley:
“You drove with complete disregard for the safety of others on the road.
“You were in effect egging each other on by driving as you did.”
The jury also concluded that Burgham, who was not in court, had caused serious injury to the five year old by dangerous driving, but after hearing of his condition, Judge Warner sentenced him to an absolute discharge.
Judge Warner jailed Kentsley for 27 months and disqualified him from driving for three years. He also ordered the 23 year old to take an extended driving test before he gets behind the wheel of a car again.
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Source: The Comet