Motorist accused of "nodding off" drove carelessly, not dangerously, say jury

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A company boss who was accused of causing a crash that left another driver seriously injured has been convicted of careless rather than dangerous driving.

Prosecutors claimed 57-year-old Hugh Redmayne nodded off before his car crashed head into another car on the B5086 Egremont to Cockermouth road in May last year.

His Range Rover crashed head-on into a BMW, leaving its driver Paul Wilson seriously hurt.

But after hearing the evidence at Carlisle Crown Court the jury concluded the defendant, of Deanscales, Cockermouth, was guilty of the lesser allegation of careless driving.

Redmayne had already admitted that offence.

The defendant had consistently denied causing serious injury by dangerous driving, saying in his evidence that he was certain that he had not fallen asleep at the wheel.

During the trial, the jury heard how the accident happened at 6.30pm on May 31 last year.

The prosecution was told that Redmayne spoke to witnesses after the crash, saying he was tired and his car had drifted to the wrong side of the road after he possibly dozed off.

But in his evidence, the defendant said that in the aftermath of the accident he was in state of shock and confused.

Realising he was physically okay, he said, he was concerned for the other driver. But when he was asked questions at the roadside, he was trying to find a reason for what happened.

As people gathered round him, he said he felt under pressure to give an explanation for the crash. He told them he had lost concentration but didn't really know what happened.

Asked in court if he fell asleep at the wheel, Redmayne said: “I don't believe I did.” His barrister then asked him: “Are you certain you didn't fall asleep?” The defendant replied: “I'm fairly certain, yes.”

Redmayne - a company director with a recruitment firm - was fined £1,000, with a £100 victim surcharge, prosecution costs of £60, and he had six points imposed on his licence.

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