Banned driver jailed after RTA with baby granddaughter passenger
Updated 4:24pm Thursday 1st May 2014 in News
A banned Ystradgynlais driver has been jailed for 16 weeks after he rolled a car on the way to his two-year-old granddaughter's birthday party with his partner, son, daughter-in-law and the toddler inside.
Andrew Roberts, of 59 Lluest, initially claimed he had been a front-seat passenger and his girlfriend Karen Evans had been behind the wheel of the Renault Clio which ended up on its roof on the A4068 at Cefn Bryn Brain at 4.53pm on April 6.
Nick Newton, prosecuting, told Llanelli magistrates how police were called to the scene shortly after the accident where the four adults and the infant were being treated by paramedics in a nearby bus-shelter.
“There was a black Renault Clio on its roof in the carriageway,” Mr Newton told the court.
Initially, Ms Evans came forward and claimed she was the driver.
Roberts confirmed he had been a passenger in the vehicle and that Ms Evans was driving.
However, when police later interviewed Ms Evans she “broke down and admitted she was not the driver,” Mr Newton said.
Roberts, who was banned from driving in 2013 and then saw his disqualification extended by a further nine months in October following a drink-drive conviction, was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified.
During a first interview, he maintained he had been a passenger and Ms Evans was behind the wheel.
At a second interview, Roberts continued protesting his innocence, but midway through questioning he changed his story.
“He admitted he had been driving and apologised for wasting police time,” said Mr Newton.
Andrew Isaacs, defending, told magistrates that two weeks ago Roberts had been given a suspended jail sentence for breaching a community order imposed as part of his 2013 sentence.
Mr Isaacs said Roberts’ son had asked his father to drive the family to a birthday party for his granddaughter.
“No one was injured in the accident but he accepts how stupid it was for him to accede to his son’s request to take him to the party when he knew that he was disqualified,” said Mr Isaacs.
“There was no alcohol involved – it was a simple driving mistake.
“The consequences could have been devastating.”
Roberts admitted driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
“This offence is so serious that only a custodial sentence will do,” magistrates told Roberts.
“You were driving while disqualified and you had passengers in the car.
“The situation is made worse because you have blatantly disregarded your community order.”
Roberts was jailed for 16 weeks and banned from driving for 24 months.