A FARM worker narrowly escaped losing his licence after pleading guilty to reckless driving following a collision with a mini-cab.
Matthew Morris, 21, of Dymock Place, Penley, between Whitchurch and Wrexham, admitting driving without due care and attention, failing to stop and report a road accident, and driving without third party insurance.
West Cheshire magistrates heard a driver with four passengers in his private hire vehicle was driving along the Chester Road near the White Horse pub in Churton, near Farndon, when he took a right-hand bend towards Farndon and saw two cars coming towards him.
A red car, the defendant’s Peugeot 306, was overtaking the other car and was on the wrong side of the road, forcing the cab driver to take evasive action.
The taxi swerved up a kerb but still collided with the Peugeot, causing extensive bodywork damage and the driver’s door of the cab to fall off.
Prosecutor Rob Youds told the Chester court yesterday: “The cab driver injured his shoulder, was forced to take four days off work and had to loan another vehicle as the cab was written off.
“The defendant had failed to stop and continued on towards Aldford.
“PC Rob Callan later attended the scene and searched the area.
“At 6.10pm at the Grosvenor public house, he saw a red car, which was locked but had fresh damage to the offside front wing mirror, and extensive front damage from a collision.
“The defendant was found to be the registered keeper of the car but initially told police it had been stolen on the afternooon in question.
“When his story was challenged, he admitted he had been driving to visit a mate – but failed to see the other vehicle.
“He admitted driving well below standard and failed to stop and report the incident because he panicked and walked home.”
Steve Coupe, defending, said: “It was a terrible error of judgement on his part. He is a self-employed farm worker doing field work and, because he drives a tractor, it is vital he holds a driving licence.
“It was completely out of character. He was not racing but he was looking for an address and not paying attention. In the aftermath, he panicked.”
The court heard Morris was not under the influence of any alcohol or illegal substances.
Magistrate Dr Kenneth Bird told Morris: “You could have been facing an even more serious charge than you are today.
“You could have left bodies behind with your recklessness. However, you are clearly remorseful and we will deal with you by way of a community order.”
Morris was given 150 hours of unpaid work and his licence was endorsed with 10 points.
He was also ordered to pay £300 in compensation to the taxi driver, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.