Man jailed for two years for causing crash that injured student

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A drink driver who left a university student with life threatening injuries after a head-on crash on a Suffolk road has been jailed for two years.

Philip Bloomfield was driving home at around 4.45 pm on April 1 in his Vauxhall Zafira when he failed to navigate a left hand bend on the A1120 at Earl Stonham, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He crossed over the central white line and collided head on with a Fiat driven by Lauren Thomas, who was travelling in the opposite direction.

Miss Thomas suffered life-threatening injuries including thigh fractures, a fracture to her right knee cap, an open fracture of her left big toe, damage to her left lung and broken bones in her foot and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

The court heard she was still using crutches as a result of injuries to her feet not healing and she was unsure if she could return to her hobbies of kick-boxing and skiing.

Bloomfield, 49, of Stowmarket Road, Stonham Aspal, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drink driving.

He was jailed for two years and banned from driving for four years and ordered to take a retest.

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Sentencing him Judge Martyn Levett said Miss Thomas could have been fatally injured and might not be able to pursue a “promising and inspiring” career as a teacher because of the collision.

Bloomfield, who attended court in a wheelchair, was also taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries after the crash.

He was placed in an induced coma and an expert used a blood sample taken seven hours after the accident to calculate he had 161 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - twice the legal limit - at the time of the collision.

Bloomfield told police he couldn’t remember drinking alcohol on the day of the accident.

Isobel Ascherson for Bloomfield, who has no previous convictions, said: “Explanation for the incident is beyond my client because he simply doesn’t know what he drank or where he drank.”

She accepted Bloomfield was over the drink drive limit but didn’t accept he was twice the limit as the expert had only been able to provide a wide ranging back calculation.

She said he felt genuine remorse and was “mortified” by what had happened and the injuries suffered by Miss Thomas.

She described him as a “pillar of the community” and handed the court 20 character references.