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Partially sighted Spalding driver drank and smoked cannabis before crashing car through neighbours' front room



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A partially sighted man who had been drinking and taking drugs drove into his neighbour’s front room, where a baby would usually be sleeping, a court heard.

Charlie Sergison, who suffers from macular degeneration, grabbed the keys to his partner’s Mini Cooper after flying into a rage at 5am.

He then drove the vehicle away from the house for a short distance before turning round and heading back home.

Lincoln Crown Court (41347770)
Lincoln Crown Court (41347770)

But he lost control and the Mini mounted the kerb, ploughed through a metal fence and straight into the neighbouring house in St Thomas' Road, Spalding.

Sergison, who had been drinking and smoking cannabis, lost it after coming to the conclusion that his long-term partner was cheating on him with a friend who had spent the evening with them.

Noel Philo, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court: “He took umbrage at the way his girlfriend and friend were behaving.

“He took the view that they were having an affair under his nose.

“He flew out of the house at 5am, taking with him the keys to the Mini.

“His partner thought he had gone to sulk in the front room, otherwise she would have tried to stop him.

“He drove a short distance away. It appears he then decided to come back but unfortunately, blind, drunk and drugged as he was, he clearly made a dreadful mistake. He drove straight into the front room of a nearby terraced house.”

“The car was embedded in the house. Rubble from the wall under the front window was all over the front room. It was an extremely dangerous thing to do when he was in the condition he was in and he could not see.

“He suffers from macular degeneration. He was registered as being very sight deficient and was described as blind. Macular degeneration is permanent and gradually deteriorates until sight is lost permanently. There is no way he could have held a driving licence. Somebody who is blind should never under any circumstances think they can drive a car.”

Timothy Billingham and Chelsey Merritt, who lived in the house with their three children, were asleep in the downstairs front room when they were woken by the car coming into the room.

Mr Philo said: “Normally their one-year-old child would be sleeping just under the front room window but that night she was sharing their bed for comfort.

“If she had been sleeping where she normally slept then the consequences would have been awful.

"Mr Billingham and Miss Merritt have been hugely affected by what could easily have been a complete disaster for them. They were both asleep and woken by the car coming through their window. They were horrified at what might have happened to their daughter.”

Mr Billingham and Miss Merritt both sustained minor injuries but their one-year-old escaped unscathed. The other two children were asleep upstairs. The couple, who rented their home from a Housing Association, had to be re-housed after their property because it was ruled to be unsafe.

Sergison was arrested soon after the incident and tested positive for both alcohol and drugs.

Sergison (31), who at the time was living in St Thomas' Road, Spalding, but now lives in Wintergold Avenue in the town, admitted dangerous driving as a result of the incident, on April 3, 2019.

Neil Sands, in mitigation, said: “There was a relationship which had clearly come to the end of its natural existence. At the time of this there was a question of whether there was a relationship between his friend and Mr Sergison’s ex-partner. Mr Sergison had suspicions and they ultimately proved to be correct.

“In a fit of pique he picked up the keys and drove off in the car. Very shortly afterwards common sense reasserted itself and he turned around. The victims are people he knew. They lived two doors down from his own home.”

He said that in the 16 months since the incident, Sergison’s life has changed and he now has a new partner with whom he has a child.

Sergison was given a 12 month jail sentence suspended for two years with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was ordered to pay £500 each to Ms Merritt and Mr Billingham plus £425 prosecution costs.

He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to pass an extended test before he can legally drive, although Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight told him: “That is pretty meaningless because you won’t be able to drive anyway.”

The judge added: “You got into the car, started it and drove off. That in itself was dangerous because of your restricted vision.

“Your neighbours were asleep in that front room with their baby. Normally the baby would have slept next to the front wall. If she had been there she would have been at least seriously injured and more likely killed. This was terrifying.”



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