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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Aggressive driver who had to be cut from burning car jailed

An “aggressive” driver badly hurt in a crash near Cockermouth has been jailed for dangerous driving.

Joseph Howard, 33, had to be airlifted to hospital after being cut out of his mother’s burning car following the accident on the A5086 Egremont to Cockermouth road on October 1 last year.

He had suffered serious internal injuries, a dislocated hip and a shattered arm, while the driver of the other car, Michael Spencer, also had to be cut out of his wrecked vehicle.

Mr Spencer was knocked unconscious but in fact was less seriously hurt, suffering only bruising to his abdomen and a broken thumb.

Howard showed no sign of his injuries when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court to plead guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.

Prosecuting counsel David Farley said the crash happened after other drivers saw Howard driving erratically and too fast.

He twice overtook in the face of oncoming traffic, causing other motorists to take evasive action, and was travelling at 70mph in a 60mph speed limit, he said.

One driver commented to his passenger that “any minute now he’s going to cause an accident”, Mr Farley added.

The crash happened when Howard – driving his mother’s Audi, for which he was not insured – ignored double white lines and pulled out to overtake a white van, not realising a car was coming the other way.

There was no time for either driver to avoid a collision, and the two cars collided head-on, causing Howard’s to burst into flames, the court heard.

The judge, Recorder Abigail Hudson, described Howard’s driving as “extremely aggressive”.

She said he had been driving “more like a teenager” than a mature man.

She told him: “When you get behind the wheel of a car you are a real danger to the public. There could have been catastrophic consequences. Mr Spencer could have lost a lot more than consciousness.”

Howard, of Beech Street, Barrow, was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for two years.

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