Drink driver downed eight pints before smashing through wall of Doncaster house

A drink driver downed eight pints before smashing through a house wall and hitting a sofa where a retired woman was seated seconds earlier, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

By Tim Cunningham
Friday, 30th October 2020, 3:10 pm

Conner Ewen was being chased by police after he overtook a car at the junction of Doncaster Road and Church Lane, in Denaby Main, Doncaster, at 9.15pm on January 26, said prosecutor Brian Outhwaite.

He narrowly missed an oncoming car on Hill Top Road roundabout, before his Skoda Fabia ploughed through two fences and crashed into the house on Harlington Court.

The occupant had been watching television when she heard a loud bang and got up to go into the kitchen and investigate, said Mr Outhwaite.

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Harlington Court, Denaby Main, Doncaster.

"She was thrown across the living room and the room was filled with dust and she could see a car in the living room,” he said. “Blood was running down her neck and she felt pain in her leg."

Ewen left his ex-girlfriend in the car and fled, pursued by officers, but he later surrendered to the police.

In an interview he said he “panicked” after drinking eight or nine pints, and estimated he was travelling at 60mph.

His ex-girlfriend, who had been out drinking with Ewen since 11am, told police Ewen knew he was over the limit, and a test later revealed he had 88 mcgs of alcohol in his breath when the legal limit is 35 mcgs.

The occupant of the house was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary with a fractured shin and knee, and lacerations to her head, which had to be glued. She needed more than eight hospital appointments for further treatment and still walks with a limp.

"She doesn’t think she will ever properly recover,” Mr Outhwaite said, adding that her house was left structurally unsound and she has had to live with a relative.

James Gould, mitigating, said Ewen "behaved with enormous stupidity," but has "no previous convictions and has never come to the attention of police before."

"He is an immature and naive man," he said.

“Very few 24-year-olds would get into a car after they had been drinking all day,” Judge Graham Reeds QC told him.

The court heard Ewen was hoping to reconcile with his ex-partner on the day, but “perhaps unsurprisingly, relations between him and his former partner have become rather fraught,” Mr Gould said.

He said that Ewen was not a typical drink-driver – it was his own vehicle and he wasn't disqualified. He said that Ewen, a bricklayer, leads a team of three people who will lose work if he is locked up.

“He didn't think with the clarity he should have done,” Mr Gould told the court on Thursday.

Ewen, aged 24, of Meadowgate, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while over the drink drive limit, when he appeared in the magistrates’ court, on September 10.

Judge Reeds sentenced him to eight months in prison, suspended or 15 months, with a six month curfew.

In addition, Ewen was banned for 21 months and was ordered to pay £1,500 compensation.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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