Woman who drove into parked cars at 70mph escapes prison sentence

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

Two-year driving ban and suspended sentence for South Molton driver

A South Molton woman who hit parked cars in Swimbridge at around 70 miles per hour has avoided a prison sentence.

Carly Jane Paull, 29, of Nadder Meadow was handed a 12 week sentence suspended for a year, ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work and banned from driving for two years at North Devon Magistrares’ Court today (Friday).

The court heard that Paull, whose partner was a passenger at the time, collided with a minibus near the Jack Russell Inn pub after losing control of her car at around 11pm on May 11. Her car collided with such force that the minibus hit a Toyota Hilux pickup truck behind it, which was pushed back onto the bonnet of a BMW.

Paull suffered a broken pelvis and broken leg after touching the rear side curb nearby the pub, though no one else was injured.

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A witness at the bottom of the hill, which is in a 30 mph zone, said it was ‘obvious the car was travelling well over 30 mph’ and estimated the actual speed was ‘not less than 70’. The witness also said that she saw the car failed to negotiate the upcoming left-hand bend correctly and then heard ‘a loud bang’.

Laurence Overend, for the defence, said that Paull was very remorseful and relieved no one else had been injured, and that she had said ‘I hate what I have done’.

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Mr Overend also described it as a ‘life changing experience’ for his client.

She also admitted to officers that she had been drinking earlier in the day at the Castle Inn in Landkey, where the court heard she and her partner had been watching a band with a view to booking them for their wedding.

Following a report from probation officer Mel Wright, which identified Paull as a low risk of re-offending, sitting Magistrate Paul Cooper decided that the court had no option but to impose a custodial sentence, but elected to hand Paull a suspended sentence and a community order, as well as total costs of £165 and a two-year driving ban.

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