Wall smash man denied being driver

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A DRIVER who fled after crashing a friend’s car into a wall initially claimed he was not the driver, a court heard.

A Rover 25 driven by Dane Wright mounted the pavement in High Street, Eckington, Derbyshire, after 1am and struck the boundary wall of a house, writing off the vehicle.

He then ran away and later told police he had not driven Paula Hodkin’s car, claiming the owner was ‘making it up’.

But traces of his DNA were found on an airbag which inflated during the collision, Chesterfield magistrates heard.

Wright, aged 21, went on to say that he had driven to fetch alcohol for himself and friends and he could not recall the accident.

“He accepted he was under the influence of alcohol at the time but he couldn’t recall how much he had consumed,” said Becky Mahon, prosecuting.

“He ran from the scene and could not be spoken to by police that night.

“The vehicle, valued at £2,000, was written off.”

Wright, of Castle Hill, Eckington, Derbyshire, admitted charges of careless driving, failing to stop and report an accident, and driving without insurance and a licence on March 5.

He had previous convictions for assault and using threatening behaviour.

The bench adjourned sentence for probation service reports until July 20.

“He went to a friend’s house and people were wanting more drink. He was pestered for half an hour and Paula said: ‘Take my car and get some more booze’,” said Gavin Haigh, in mitigation.

He told the court Wright panicked and ran off following the accident but there was no evidence of drink-driving.

“He must have suffered some injury from the airbag because his DNA was found on it. He sought to divert attention away from himself at first but he then came clean.

“He has no real recollection of the accident because of the airbag deploying,” said Mr Haigh.

He added that Wright, who had been locked up in the past, wanted to ‘turn his life around and become a more responsible citizen’.