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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Farm worker from Ulverston banned from the roads for a year

A FARMHAND from Ulverston has been banned from driving for a year after an accident saw him flip his “unfit” van onto its roof.

Jack Cooper, of the Croft, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared at Barrow Crown Court on Monday.

He also pleaded guilty to driving with two people in the back of his van, failing to report an accident and driving with bald tyres.

The court was told Cooper, 24, had been in the Black Dog, near Ireleth, on February 22 when he met two men he knew, Tom Smith and Joe Miller.

Mr Nigel Booth, prosecuting, told the court Cooper offered the men a lift home in his Vauxhall Combo van.

However, because he had a passenger, the men had to get in the back of the van with loose tools, including a chainsaw, as well as four alloy wheels.

Mr Booth said: “He set off driving, it is a country road with no sort of lighting.

“We don’t say that the defendant was speeding but both Mr Miller and Mr Smith asked him to slow down, there came a point where he lost control at the first bend in the road the van left the road and flipped – landing on its roof.”

The accident left Mr Smith with a pneumothorax, a lung-related injury, and back injuries, while Mr Miller suffered a fractured ankle.

The men left the scene when a friend phoned by Cooper arrived.

The court heard Cooper removed the van’s registration plates.

Mr Booth told the court police found the vehicle at the scene and Cooper later attended the police station.

Mr Ian Ward, defending, said Cooper’s work as a farmhand means he is used to driving vehicles in a poorer condition than the general public and said it was “negligence” rather than malice that caused the accident.

Passing sentence, Recorder Mr John Benson QC gave Cooper a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years and banned him from driving for 12 months with a mandatory retest.

He also ordered him to pay a £500 contribution to court costs and an £80 statutory surcharge.

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