Sunday, June 05, 2016

Jail for drunk jockey who crashed stolen car into woman on way to what was to be their first date

A jockey has been jailed after he drove a stolen car head-on at 87mph into a vehicle driven by a woman he was due to meet on a first date. A judge told Trevor Woodside that his "appalling piece of driving" had left his victim with "significant long-term" physical and psychological injuries. Woodside, 33, of Castleview in Killyleagh, County Down, Northern Ireland, admitted four charges linked to the crash on 30 March 2014.

He will spend 21 months in prison and a further 21 months on licence. He was sentenced at Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Newtownards in County Down, on Friday after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily injury by dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving with excess alcohol and having no insurance. Prosecutors said Woodside had taken a Mercedes car belonging to his employer without his permission and had been drinking earlier on the day of the crash.

The court heard the woman received calls and text messages from Woodside as she was travelling to Crossgar, County Down. She asked him had he been drinking and he replied 'No'. The woman was driving along the Ballydougan Road outside Downpatrick at a speed of 45 mph in a 60 mph zone. As she approached the junction with the Drumcullen Road, near Downpatrick race course, a black Mercedes car came at her at speed after having crossed on to her side of the road.

One witness said the black Mercedes had passed their vehicle 'like a rocket'. Following the crash, Woodside was conscious and complaining of a back injury. His victim was freed from the vehicle and taken to hospital, where she underwent surgery on her right foot. She had a plate inserted to her foot and a drain in her chest. She spent two weeks in hospital and will require further surgery. Her lawyer told the court she was "physically sick" when she discovered who the driver of the other vehicle was. Woodside's defence lawyer said he had shown genuine remorse for the crime.

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