Jail for drunk driver who crashed into South Yorkshire roundabout at speed

Collins crashed into St Ann's roundabout in Rotherham in the early hours of June 16 this year
Collins crashed into St Ann's roundabout in Rotherham in the early hours of June 16 this year

A drunk driver who crashed into a South Yorkshire roundabout at speed, before fleeing the scene, has been put behind bars.

Carl Collins had almost three times over the legal limit of alcohol in his blood stream when he crashed his girlfriend's vehicle into St Ann's roundabout, Rotherham in the early hours of June 16 this year.

"Essentially, the vehicle drove into the barrier which runs around the perimeter of the roundabout. The vehicle crashes into the barrier, causing significant front-end damage," said Jessica Southcote-West, prosecuting,

In the moments leading up to the collision, an employee at the nearby branch of Tesco in Drummond Street, Rotherham was outside having a cigarette when Collins' driving gave him cause for concern.

Summarising the man's evidence, Ms Southcote-West added: "He took the view that the defendant was driving at an inappropriate speed for the nature of the road.

"He felt that the defendant was going to crash into the roundabout, which he did."

After crashing the vehicle, Collins ran off, leaving his girlfriend alone in the car.

The court heard how police arrived on the scene a short time later, when Collins' girlfriend provided officers with his name and address.

Ms Southcote-West said: "Police attended at his address and the defendant was there. He was clearly in drink, and had an injury to his forehead."

When breathalysed, Collins was found to have 92 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The court was told how Collins was the subject of a six month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, for a charge of fraud when he committed the offences.

Ms Southcote-West told the court that the fraud charge related to £10,000 Collins stole from the Sheffield registry office when he worked there.

He pleaded guilty to charges of driving without due care and attention; failure to stop at the scene of an accident, driving without insurance, driving over the legal limit and breaching a suspended sentence order at an earlier hearing.

Defending, Joy Merriam, said that in the run-up to his offending, Collins and his girlfriend had been drinking at a pub located half a mile away from the scene of the accident.

Ms Merriam said the couple's intention had been to leave their car at the pub, but after Collins' girlfriend became involved in an altercation he acted in fear and 'foolishly decided to drive the car'.

Referring to his fraud conviction, she added: "When he was working at the registry office he was dependant on cocaine, and that was his reason for committing the offence."

Judge Robert Moore jailed Collins for eight months, comprising of a five month sentence for his recent spate of offences and the activation of three months of his suspended sentence.

He also banned Collins from driving for 18 months.

"I take the view that this is so serious that only a sentence of immediate imprisonment can be justified," said Judge Moore.