Fine for driver who caused A12 crash

Careless driver Andrew Hinds is more than �500 worse off today after he injured another motorist after hitting his car on the A12.

IPSWICH: Careless driver Andrew Hinds is more than �500 worse off today after he injured another motorist after hitting his car on the A12.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court found the 45-year-old, of Maidenhall Approach, not guilty of dangerous driving, but guilty of careless driving.

It had been alleged Hinds was seen swerving from side to side on the A12 near Stratford St Mary before losing control and hitting the other vehicle, which careered down a bank.

The crash left driver David Begent trapped in his vehicle. After being cut out by firefighters, he was airlifted to hospital by the air ambulance with suspected spinal injuries.

However, sentencing Hinds, Judge Peter Fenn said the court had believed his account of what happened.

He said: “I accept you were always prepared to plead guilty to careless driving.

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“Having overtaken Mr Begent you then started to pull back into the left-hand lane without having checked your mirrors, without indicating intending so to do, and without realising the proximity.

“You over-corrected to the right which caused your vehicle to go out of control, which then brought about the accident.”

During Hinds' trial, the prosecution had alleged that shortly before the collision, he had driven so close behind Mr Begent's in the fast lane that Mr Begent had not been able to see the front of the other car or the number plate.

Mr Begent turned on his night driving lights to indicate he was uncomfortable with Hinds' driving so close behind him and shortly afterwards had pulled into the slow lane.

The jury heard as Hinds drew level with him, Mr Begent indicated to him to slow down and had then made a rude gesture at him, just before the accident.

The crash occurred around 1.50pm on March 15 on the Ipswich-bound carriageway.

Hinds was fined �325, ordered to pay prosecution costs of �90, defence costs of �200, and a �15 victim surcharge. Six points were also added to his driving licence. He now has nine points after a speeding offence in May last year.

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