Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

School worker flipped minibus with pupils on board

15:58 07 March 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple


Former colleague suffered whiplash and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after the collision.

A FORMER worker at Broomhayes School flipped a mini bus causing a co-worker to suffer a cracked rib and anxiety attacks, a court heard.

Matthew Gent, 32, of Lime Grove, Bideford, was driving two students at the school for people with autism and three members of staff to Northam Burrows on a trip.

Gent pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention after he ended up flipping the van over.

Witness statements read to the court from staff members said Gent had initially driven fast over the speed bumps at the burrows which ‘made the students laugh’.

One of the co-workers, who attended the hearing on Friday, said after leaving the Burrows Gent was driving in an ‘inappropriate way’.

She said the mini bus was driving too fast when it hit a dip in Gammaton Road which caused Gent to lose control and mount the left bank of the road.

The bus flipped over, with one member of staff suffering whiplash and a possible cracked rib, and another suffering minor cuts and bruises.

One of Gent’s colleagues said she had suffered anxiety and panic attacks since the event which had caused her to be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Gent, who was unrepresented in court, said the vehicle had been unsuitable as it did not have a screen to protect the driver if the pupils got stressed or angry.

He told magistrates he ‘did not have a choice’ in driving it and that his employer, who has since made him redundant, would have ‘expected him to’.

Magistrates fined Gent £275 and he was disqualified from driving for six months. He was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £28 victim surcharge.


Other News Stories


North Devon Sees Red Day – join the march at 11am from Mermaid Walk

Read more
31 minutes ago

Temporary winter closure for maintenance work, but trustees are also looking ahead to possible extension plans

Read more

The latest improvement to the college’s Barnstaple campus was showcased to the public today (Thursday).

Read more

Activities for all ages to enjoy at the museum throughout next week

Read more

Police warn trick or treaters to be safe this Halloween and remember not everyone wants to take part

Read more

A cross party group of councillors have written to the boss of the controversial Success Regime

Read more

Lidl, Starbucks and Poundworld have all helped to get people back into work recently

Read more

North Devon care staff, nurses and charity volunteers go on the Virtual Dementia Tour

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Trampoline park is setting a 12 hour bouncing relay challenge to raise money for charity

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Team bravely bares all and says ‘no ifs, no butts, check your nuts’

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up


Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications