Motorist spared driving ban after hitting two cars in Sunderland cul-de-sac and fleeing the scene

A motorist has escaped a driving ban after hitting two cars while reversing in a Sunderland cul-de-sac – and then failing to stop at the scene.

Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th February 2020, 12:45 pm

Craig Newall, 31, of Saint Johns, Sunderland, was handed five penalty points by magistrates rather the maximum six, which would have seen him disqualified under the totting-up process.

The fire prevention worker struck a Renault Clio with his Audi A3 in Calthwaite Close, Hylton Castle, after an argument with his partner or ex-partner – and then hit another Audi at the same location.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Newall failed to stop but his actions, on Monday, October 21, were spotted by a witness.

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The offence happened in Calthwaite Close, Sunderland.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “This takes place in a cul-de-sac, which is essentially two entrances leading to a dead end.

“Mr Newall is involved in some kind of local dispute with his partner or ex-partner.

“He jumps in the car and reverses up the street, hitting a Clio that is parked there, and reverses faster and hits another car that is parked, and drives off.

“There’s some damage to the Clio, which is a six to eight inch scuff mark on the bumper, and the other vehicle suffers a scrape about one-metre long. His insurance company is accepting liability.”

The court was told Newall already had six penalty points on his licence for driving without insurance.

Newall, who defended himself in court, told magistrates he needed his car for work and would likely lose his job if his licence were removed, and also had children to collect from school two days-a-week.

He said: “I apologise for what I did, it was a big mistake. I accept that what I’ve done was wrong, and it won’t happen again.”

Magistrates accepted there was not a massive amount of damage to the vehicles and that he was not trying to flee from anybody – but urged him to be more careful.

Newall, who pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident, was also fined £266 and must pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.