A drug-driver new on the road and with twice the limit of cannabis in his system left a motorcyclist seriously injured after smashing into him, a court was told.
Amanullah Khan (21) had turned right in his Vauxhall Vectra, across the path of Nigel Beresford, who could nothing to avoid the crash. Mr Beresford (58) was flung into the air, hit the ground with force and suffered fractures to his spine, ribs and shoulder as well as a punctured lung in the incident on the A59 at Clitheroe.
Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told the victim, a self-employed decorator, was in hospital for a week after the collision and was told he would be unable to work for months afterwards.
Security worker Khan, who had only passed his test three months before, has now been banned for 16 months. He was fined £120, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Sentencing, deputy district Judge Huw Edwards said he had been told the court had no information from the police to describe how the defendant had behaved at the scene of the collision, which he described as “vital” in a drug-driving case. He told the hearing: “I wasn’t able to consider him on a more serious level for sentencing purposes because I had no information on his demeanour and conduct at the time of the incident.”
The deputy district judge told Khan: “It was a very unfortunate incident and the injuries to the motorcyclist were very serious. I hope and I am sure you do regret the consequences flowing from your actions.”
Khan, of Escott Gardens, Burnley, admitted driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit and driving without due care and attention, on May 29th.
Prosecutor Mrs Alex Mann told the court the defendant turned right across the path of the motorcyclist, who was coming the other way. She said: “I think the defendant was overtaking on the A59 where some people perhaps wouldn’t have done. He carried straight on and turned right. Mr Beresford says he couldn’t do anything to avoid him. He says he saw him from the corner of his eye coming towards him.”
She said the victim, who had tried to move to his right to avoid being hit, was thrown through the air, his helmet flew off and he hit the ground with some force. Mrs Mann continued: “His doctor advised him it was likely the injuries would take eight to 10 weeks to heal.”
The prosecutor said Khan had no convictions, but had a caution for cannabis. She added: “Perhaps he needs to consider the cannabis element is what is bringing him to the attention of the police.” Mrs Mann said she had “nothing from the police to describe his demeanour” at the scene of the incident.
Catherine Fell, in mitigation for Khan, said he had been driving down the A59, missed his turning and then attempted to turn right into a road to turn round and go back the other way. A statement from the driver behind him confirmed he slowed down and turned right. He didn’t indicate and the motorcycle, which was behind both vehicles, started to overtake. She told the hearing: “The motorcyclist came from behind, not the other way.”
The solicitor continued: “Obviously, I accept the injuries are bad. Mr Khan is extremely sorry for what has happened. He has no previous convictions. He only received his licence in February this year. He is a new driver. He accepts obviously he shouldn’t have been driving because of the cannabis in his system.”
Miss Fell said Khan was on a zero hours contract, had not been working for some time and had had no income. He had recently been to Pakistan for his sister’s wedding.
She added: “He works in the security industry. He might not have a job after this in any event. He does want to work, rather than claim benefits.”