Speeding driver left two injured in head-on crash - because he wanted to get home to watch England on TV

Newcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court

An inexperienced driver injured two people in a head-on crash he caused while speeding to get home to watch an England match on TV.

Harry Evans took a blind turn in his Citroen, on the wrong side of the road, after travelling at 50mph and smashed straight into a car coming in the other direction.

Newcastle Crown Court heard couple who were travelling in the oncoming Vauxhall Astra suffered whiplash injuries and bruising.

The injured driver said he feared Evans "could have killed someone driving that way, like a maniac".

Evans, who had had his licence for just seven months, told police at the crash scene, which was at the entrance to the estate where he lived, he had been "in a rush to get home to watch the England match".

The 18-year-old, of Heron Close, Ayton, Washington, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

The crash happened on November 11 last year, the night England played Scotland in a World Cup qualifying game.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court an officer on patrol in Washington had noticed Evans' vehicle travelling at speed and decided to follow and activated the vehicle's dashboard camera .

Mr Pallister said: "As the officer approached a junction at Dunlin Drive he heard a loud bang.

"As he approached, he could see the defendant had turned right, on the wrong side of the road, and had collided with a vehicle coming out of the close.

"That vehicle had been travelling on the correct side of the road."

Mr Pallister said the road into the estate had high walls and Evans had been "effectively turning blind, on the wrong side of the road."

The injured couple, who had sore backs and necks as a result of the smash, had been travelling at only 5mph on the way out of the estate.

The car they were in was damaged to the extent it was feared it would have to be written off.

Mr Pallister played footage captured by the police car camera, which showed Evans' car travelling in the distance and then the aftermath of the crash.

He added; "It is clear from the footage the defendant has taken the corner, on the wrong side of the road and as the witnesses and police officer confirmed, it was a blind turning because of hedges and walls."

The court heard Evans remained at the crash scene and was questioned by the police.

Mr Pallister added: "He said he was in a rush to get home to watch the England match".

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced Evans to a community order for 12 months with 220 hours unpaid work and a 12 month road ban with extended test requirement.

The judge said: "He was a very, very inexperienced driver it was a head-on collision with someone who was, fortunately, driving at very slow speed.

"It could have been much worse."

The court heard Evans, who was a hard-working apprentice and has never been in trouble before, has "learned his lesson".

Gavin Doig, defending, said Evans has to travel a "considerable distance" to work using public transport as a result of the road ban.

Mr Doig said: "He has a lot of time to consider the error of his ways."

Mr Doig said Evans did not make a habit of driving dangerously or at speed and had been unaware that the police had noticed him that night.

He added: "It is no excuse to increase your speed to watch a television programme but it was a reason."