Man jailed for driving wrong way on A120

A DRIVER who caused an horrific head-on crash when he went the wrong direction along a dual carriageway has been jailed for four months.Delroy Leslie was bringing two friends from London to Colchester when he went the wrong way and ended up on a Harwich-bound slip road at the Ardleigh Crown interchange.

A DRIVER who caused an horrific head-on crash when he went the wrong direction along a dual carriageway has been jailed for four months.

Delroy Leslie was bringing two friends from London to Colchester when he went the wrong way and ended up on a Harwich-bound slip road at the Ardleigh Crown interchange.

When the 35-year-old got to the bottom of the slip road he turned right onto the A120 into the direction of on-coming traffic.

Colchester Magistrates' Court heard yesterday how Leslie's Ford Mondeo collided head-on with a Volkswagen Golf being driven by 54-year-old Michael Hampton, of Holland-on-Sea, near Clacton.


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There was no time for either driver to brake or avoid the accident at about 11.30pm on July 3 last year.

Both cars were baldy damaged, leaving Mr Hampton and his 52-year-old wife Christine with serious injuries. Leslie's back-seat passenger was also so badly hurt it was feared the injuries would be life threatening.

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Nicola Leppard, prosecuting, said the injuries to Mrs Hampton, a front-seat passenger, were so serious she was unlikely to make a full recovery.

During police interviews Leslie said he did not remember much about the accident. The mini-cab driver said he did realise he went down a slip road and could not explain why he turned right.

A statement from Mr Hampton was read to the court describing how his wife was so traumatised she still could not talk about the crash without becoming upset.

“She finds it traumatic riding as a passenger in a car. She is depressed and is not the same person, it is heartbreaking to see as we have been together for 35 years and I find it hard to see the woman I love in so much pain.

“I can handle my injuries but not what is happening to her, she is being worn down mentally.”

Mr Hampton suffered a fractured ankle, three broken ribs and a broken collarbone. His wife's left arm was broken in two places and the nerves were damaged, she was bruised all over her body and now faces regular hospital appointments.

James Baird-Murray, mitigating, said Leslie pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity to the charge of dangerous driving.

He said Leslie, of Waldronhyrst, Bromley Hill, South Croydon, did not know where he was going and was relying on being given directions by one of his passengers.

“He knows it was his mistake and only his mistake that led to this situation, he fully accepts that and is desperately sorry that it happened,” he said.

As we was taken to the cells Leslie, who was also disqualified from driving for two years, shook his finger at the police officers in the court.

Speaking afterwards, Inspector Steve Brewer of Stanway traffic police, said: “This was a dreadful crash and the couple were very lucky not to have been killed.

“It is quite rare for incidents like this to occur but when they do the consequences can be horrific.”

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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