Stowmarket: Dad who fled scene of crash is fined �700

STOWMARKET: A 31-year-old father who reversed into a parked car in a supermarket car park and then fled the scene has been ordered to pay a total of �700.

Jonathan Eldridge, of Church View, Haughley, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and failing to stop following an accident at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecuting solicitor Tess James told the court that Eldridge fled the scene of the accident in Stowmarket after reversing into a parked car.

She said: “Mr Wood parked his car in a supermarket car park in Bury Street, Stowmarket.

“On his return to the vehicle he noticed there was damage to the car, denting, scratching and a smashed light casing at the back. People in the car park told him that somebody else had reversed at speed, collided with his car and then driven off.” The court heard a witness to the incident noted down the car’s registration number.

Mrs James said: “He was trying to avoid some shoppers but unfortunately struck the side of the vehicle behind him.

“He deeply regretted the fact he had panicked and driven off.

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“He said in a statement to the police ‘I’ve been honest. It was a silly decision and I am very sorry for what happened and I have learnt my lesson.”

Mitigating for Eldridge, Fiona Smith said minor damage was caused to the parked car.

She added: “It was a moment of blind panic and Mr Eldridge does not seek to avoid his responsibilities.”

The court heard Eldridge had never had any points on his licence and was of previous good character.

Magistrates fined Eldridge �400 for failing to stop, �200 for driving without due care and attention and ordered he pay �15 victim’s surcharge and �85 costs, a total of �700.

In addition, Mr Eldridge’s licence was endorsed with six penalty points for failing to stop.

His licence was further endorsed for driving without due care and attention.

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