Drug driver who ran red light and caused crash avoids prison
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A driver who ran a red light and then crashed into another car while under the influence of drugs has avoided jail.
Harry Huckstepp, 30, was driving a Citroen Berlingo on the A1152 at Melton, near Woodbridge, around 4pm on May 16 last year when he went through a red light.
Witnesses described Huckstepp driving at speed on the road, which has a 30mph limit, although it was not clear exactly how fast he was going, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
After going through the light, Huckstepp's car struck another vehicle, which contained two people.
A woman in the car suffered whiplash injuries and a broken rib, the court heard.
Following the crash, a scene developed and Huckstepp spat at a man at the scene.
The police were called and Huckstepp was later found to have 52ugl of the cocaine derivative benzoylecgonine in his system.
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Huckstepp, a father-of-two, of Lloyd Road, Melton, appeared for sentence at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday having previously pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, assault by beating and drug driving.
The court that Huckstepp had no previous convictions.
Steven Dyble, mitigating, said Huckstepp had showed "genuine remorse" for what happened.
Mr Dyble described Huckstepp as a "doting father, good husband and a hard-working man" who had made a "catastrophic decision" to go through the red light.
Mr Dyble added that Huckstepp worked for an electrical company.
Recorder Jeremy Benson QC told Huckstepp: "After the accident, at a time when everyone was very concerned with the pandemic, you spat at a gentleman who was at the scene. You were also over the legal limit for drugs."
However Recorder Benson said the incident was described as "out of character" in a pre-sentence report and that Huckstepp was otherwise a "hard-working and caring father of two daughters".
Huckstepp was sentenced to four months and 21 days' imprisonment, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for 15 months.
He was also ordered to carry out 15 rehabilitation activity days and 150 hours of unpaid work.
Huckstepp also received a £100 fine and must pay £500 in court costs.
He is also required to take an extended driving re-test at the end of his ban.