Spared ban after bungalow crash

Smash ' The van's bonnet was inside the bedroom.
Smash ' The van's bonnet was inside the bedroom.
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A VAN driver who left a trail of destruction through several gardens in Sutton St James before smashing into a bungalow has escaped a driving ban.

John Goble (23), of Delph Fields, Long Sutton, hit the bungalow on Fishergate so hard that he ploughed through a bedroom wall, shunting the furniture.

On Tuesday, Spalding magistrates heard how if the owners had been in bed, he could have caused serious injury or even killed them.

Goble had pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at a hearing in May.

Jill Derby, prosecuting, told how the incident happened at about 5pm on December 20.

In a statement from bungalow owner Sue Neaverson, she said how it had caused “substantial damage” to the property.

“She confirms that due to the substantial damage to the bed, had she been in bed she could have lost her life or been seriously injured,” she said.

Mrs Derby said Goble had been driving the Mercedes van through the village when he saw lights ahead.

She told how his passenger screamed and he remembered hitting the kerb and hitting the accelerator rather than braking.

In a letter of mitigation submitted to the court, Goble said the weather conditions on the night were “not good” and the road was “greasy”. He said “dazzling” oncoming lights caused him to go straight ahead instead of around the corner.

He said his employer, DNS Transport, would no longer require his services if he was banned.

When asked by magistrates about why he should not be disqualified from driving, Goble said he has a ten-day-old baby to provide for.

He added: “It was a genuine accident. I could not see and by the time I could it was too late.”

Goble was given nine penalty points and ordered to pay a £190 fine, £43 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

He must also pay £100 compensation to cover the excess on the insurance policy for the repairs to the bungalow.

Sentencing, presiding magistrate Susan Painter said: “You drive for a living so you should know better than the average person.

“We allow the argument that you would lose your job if you lose your licence and have a family to support.”

However, she warned him he would not be able to use the argument again if he was ever to reappear before the court.