Man took car and crashed into bus shelter

Reporter:

Paul Chamberlain

A DRINK-driver took his brother’s car and crashed into a lamp-post and a bus shelter.

Aaron Hughes, 38, was detained by members of the public until the police arrived.

A court heard the damage he caused amounted to more than £8,000. The lamp-post and the bus shelter had to be replaced at Marine Road in Prestatyn.

Hughes, of Mornant Avenue at Ffynnongroyw, admitted drink-driving, aggravated vehicle taking of his brother’s car at Holywell, having no insurance and no driving licence.

However he denied prosecution claims that there was a female passenger and a child in the vehicle at the time of the impact.

He was warned it was a serious matter which passed the custody threshold but the sentence would be suspended because he had sole care of his daughter.

Hughes received a 18 week prison sentence, suspended for a year and was banned from driving for 20 months. He was also placed on rehabilitation and ordered to pay a contribution of £1,500.

Flintshire magistrates said yesterday it was very fortunate no-one had been seriously injured.

The Mold court heard Hughes was more than twice the drink-drive limit with 80 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath compared to the legal limit of 35. He had been using alcohol to cope after losing a child.

Prosecutor Helen Tench said Hughes went to his brother’s home to attend to a pet on August 13 but while there he took the keys to a Vauxhall.

In Prestatyn, he mounted the kerb and drove into a lamp-post, knocking it out of the ground. He continued to drive and hit a bus shelter.

The vehicle, which was badly damaged, came to a halt in the middle of the road and the impact was such the air bag was activated.

A witness told how a female and child got out of the car and Hughes was followed by members of the public and detained until the police arrived.

Another witness told how he heard loud screeching and a crashing noise and saw a man staggering away. When he asked him to stop he was met with verbal abuse but was able to detain him.

In his police interview, which the prosecutor said were now contrary to his instructions in court, he told how a female asked to take him somewhere and he took his brother’s car. He was looking at the friend when the crash occurred.

Simon Simmons, defending, said Hughes had dropped off a woman and a child and was looking for them when the crash occurred.

They were not in the vehicle at the time.

Mr Simmons said his client had sole responsibility for his young daughter. He had health issues and had been using alcohol as a coping mechanism after he lost a child at Christmas nine years ago.

Hughes, said Mr Simmons, was on medication for depression and anxiety. He accepted full responsibility and had kept repeating how sorry he was at the scene and when charged by the police.

Email:

paul.chamberlain@nwn.co.uk

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