Racer avoids jail

DANGEROUS driver Paul Hoey was spared jail today despite crashing into a lorry at 110mph while trying to squeeze between two vehicles on the A14.Sentencing the 30-year-old former stock car driver to a 150 hour community punishment order, Judge John Holt said the factors involved in the crash on the A14 near Wherstead were not serious enough to send Hoey to prison.

DANGEROUS driver Paul Hoey was spared jail today despite crashing into a lorry at 110mph while trying to squeeze between two vehicles on the A14.

Sentencing the 30-year-old former stock car driver to a 150 hour community punishment order, Judge John Holt said the factors involved in the crash on the A14 near Wherstead were not serious enough to send Hoey to prison.

Judge Holt told the court: "Dangerous driving is a serious criminal offence which frequently leads to a prison sentence, but here there does not appear to be significant aggravating factors."

He added that it was a case of a momentary lapse, accompanied by driving at a high speed, that caused the crash in which Hoey, of Bramford Road, Ipswich, was the only person injured.


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Judge Holt told Hoey that because of his age and previous good character he would follow the recommendations in a pre-sentence report.

In addition to the community punishment order, Hoey was disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,740.

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At his trial Ipswich Crown Court heard Hoey was trapped in his Pontiac Trans Am after the collision which happened on August 22 last year.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd alleged a lorry had been in near side lane of the dual carriageway and was being overtaken lawfully by a Nissan car. Hoey tried to manoeuvre between the two vehicles while driving at 110mph and drove into the back of the HGV, causing his car to be written off.

Hoey, who pleaded not guilty to the offence, said he had been driving back to work at Fox's Marina after his lunch break when the crash happened. He told the court he had no recollection of the incident after sustaining head injuries.

However Mr Sadd said more than one reliable witness had stated Hoey was driving at an astonishing speed.

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