Sheffield driver who ploughed into car while speeding and high on drink and drugs given suspended sentence

A Sheffield man who ran a red light and ploughed his car into another vehicle, hours after consuming a cocktail of drink and drugs, has been hauled before the courts.

In the hours before the collision took place on the morning of June 15, 2020, defendant Alfie Dodsworth had spent the night with his friends, during which he drank vodka and took cocaine and MDMA, before getting a few hours’ sleep in his car, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Summarising the facts of the case, Judge Graham Robinson told Dodsworth, now aged 22, during a hearing held on Monday, June 27: “At about 6/6.30am in the morning you were driving along Abbeydale Road South, towards the city centre.

“The complainant was driving a courtesy car along Abbey Lane. The lights were green in his favour, he crossed the crossroads [with Abbeydale Road South], he carried on along Abbey Lane and had no idea you were speeding completely in excess of the 40 miles per hour speed limit.”

Dodsworth, a student who is about to enter the third year of a university course at Sheffield Hallam University, was charged with, and pleaded guilty to, offences of dangerous driving, drink driving and drug driving and was brought before Sheffield Crown Court to be sentenced on June 27, 2022

"You overtook at speed one car, and then a taxi,” continued Judge Robinson adding that Dodsworth subsequently went through a red light, noting that witnesses did not see him attempt to break, and ploughed his black Seat Leon vehicle into the complainant’s courtesy car.

Prosecuting barrister Emily Jenkins said the collision caused both vehicles to ‘spin’.

Ms Jenkins said the complainant exited his vehicle a short time later and was seen to ‘collapse’ on the pavement nearby, and was subsequently taken to hospital to be treated for an abrasion to his head and flash burns to his hand.

In a statment to the court, the complainant said his health continues to be affected by the collision, that he still takes tablets as a result of it and said he has also been forced to ‘leave two jobs because they involve driving’.

The court was told that Dodsworth also broke his leg during the collision, and when his blood was taken at the hospital he was found to be over the legal limit for alcohol, cocaine and MDMA.

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Dodsworth, a student who is about to enter the third year of a university course at Sheffield Hallam University, was subsequently charged with, and pleaded guilty to, offences of dangerous driving, drink driving and drug driving.

Defending, Ian Goldsack, said that in some ways Dodsworth has already been subject to ‘some element of punishment’ after having his car written off and suffering the most ‘significant injuries’ in the collision, which are likely to impact upon the ‘football career he envisioned having’.

"There’s very genuine remorse and regret for what happened and he’s expressed a wish to convey an apology to the other driver,” Mr Goldsack said.

He added: “He’s found it very difficult coming to terms with what happened, what might have happened and his responsibility for it, which he fully accepts. Undoubtedly, this is going to be something he will be thinking about and considering for the rest of his days.”

Judge Robinson sentenced Dodsworth to six months’ custody, suspended for 18 months and ordered him to complete 300 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £435.

“You drank vodka and took MDMA and cocaine, as someone who was an aspiring sportsperson… there was aggressive driving, there was no need to overtake,” Judge Robinson told Dodsworth.

Commenting on the impact the collision had on the complainant, Judge Robinson added: “It’s astonishing he came away from it as well as he did.”