‘Tailgating’ pals in Blaina car mayhem jailed
8:12am Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
TWO friends who raced each other at excessive speeds before one crashed down a 30-metre embankment and hit six cars in a Blaina street have been jailed.
Ben Warren, 25, and Gavin Morris, 26, had been “tailgating” each other at more than 70mph in their Vauxhall Astras, when one lost control, hit the kerb, and smashed through a wooden fence on the A467, a court heard.
Warren hurtled down an embankment, destroying woodland, before crash landing onto parked cars on South Griffin Terrace in Blaina, causing extensive damage, Cardiff Crown Court heard yesterday.
The court was told Warren miraculously managed to survive the incident on October 8 with just a bump to his head, climbing back up the embankment before jumping into the car of Morris and being driven off.
Morris, from Oxford Street, Abertillery, received a 12 month sentence for dangerous driving. He admitted failing to stop but received no separate penalty. He was disqualified from driving for three years, and his licence was endorsed.
Warren, of Victoria Street, Abertillery, was handed a 13 month sentence for dangerous driving and failing to stop. He also had no licence or insurance, but received no separate penalties. He was also disqualified from driving for three years, and had his licence endorsed.
Both men admitted all charges at an earlier hearing.
Jason Howells, prosecuting, said Morris had told police after being cautioned that he had expected to find his friend dead from the accident.
“But Warren climbed into his car and screamed ‘get me out of here’,” Mr Howells added. He said Warren had admitted losing control of the back of the car, which caused him to crash.
“He doesn’t remember anything after hitting the kerb,” Mr Howells added.
Defending the pair, Lowri Wynn-Morgan said both men had shown “considerable remorse”.
Of Morris, who has no previous criminal history, she said: “In interview he admitted his actions were stupid and dangerous.
“He suffers from anxiety and depression and is on a high-level of anti-depressants.
“There is concern he may struggle if given an immediate custodial sentence.”
Defending Warren, she said: “He has told me he intends to write letters to the victims to express his apologies.”
But sentencing them, Judge Niclas Parry, said there were aggravating features.
He said: “You raced on a public highway, at excessive speed, for the fun of it. You did it for your own kicks, at the expense and suffering of others. There was an inevitable collision and one of the cars crashed, as if out of the sky, into six other vehicles.
“It is not short of miraculous that no-one was hurt. The aggravating feature is you fled the scene, despite one member of the public pleading with you. ‘You can’t leave,’ she said. But you did.”
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