Man guilty of dangerous driving but cleared of causing serious injury
PUBLISHED: 07:30 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:21 31 January 2020
An Ipswich man has been cleared of causing a crash in which a passenger in a car he was allegedly chasing was seriously injured.
Conor Warnes had denied causing serious injury by dangerous driving to Danielle Parnell in Nacton Road, Ipswich, in March 2018 and was found not guilty by a jury after a trial.
However, Warnes, 27, of Woodville Road, Ipswich, was unanimously convicted by the jury at Ipswich Crown Court of a less serious alternative charge of dangerous driving. He had denied the charge.
Judge David Goodin adjourned sentence on Warnes until the end of next week to allow a report to be prepared on him by the probation service.
He gave Warnes an interim driving ban and said the probation report would look at alternatives to an immediate prison sentence - but warned he was not making any guarantees.
Giving evidence during his trial Warnes denied driving his VW convertible aggressively at speeds of up to 100mph along Nacton Road and tailgating a car driven by his work colleague Alex Tullett.
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Claire Matthews, prosecuting, said Warnes and Mr Tullett had been colleagues at Anglia Karting and on the night in question had met some other friends with an interest in cars in the Cardinal Park area of Ipswich.
During the evening Miss Parnell had allegedly received text messages from a passenger in Warnes' car saying Warnes was unhappy with Mr Tullett and was "coming after him".
Mr Tullett told the court he had driven "flat out" to get away from Warnes.
He said that as he was driving along Nacton Road he collided with a red Nissan Leaf which pulled out of a Tesco Express in front of him.
Following the collision his car careered into a telegraph pole before smashing into a tree.
He said that at the time of the collision with the Nissan Leaf he believed Warnes' car was still close behind him.
He accepted he had been driving too fast and dangerously but said he had "been in a state and didn't know what to do."
As a result of the crash Miss Parnell had to be cut from the wreckage and was taken to hospital where she was found to have injuries to her neck and back, cracked ribs, fractures to her feet and cuts to her leg.