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Drug driver left in wheelchair after roundabout crash

PUBLISHED: 10:11 21 March 2019

Michael Harrison, 33, of Fore Street, Ipswich, has been jailed for 18 months Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Michael Harrison, 33, of Fore Street, Ipswich, has been jailed for 18 months Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

An Ipswich motorbike rider who was seven times the drug-drive limit when he drove the wrong way round a roundabout at speed and hit a car head-on has been jailed for 18 months.

Sentencing Michael Harrison, who has been in a wheelchair since the crash, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “The decision you made to ride your motorbike on April 7 last year was catastrophic not only for yourself but for the driver of the vehicle into which your motorcycle ploughed.”

“You suffer and still suffer from the severe injuries to your leg as a result of crashing into the car and in turn the driver of the car has suffered the complete loss of his car, increased insurance premiums and because you are uninsured he has nowhere to claim.”

The judge told Ipswich Crown Court that at the time of the collision Harrison was also driving an unroadworthy vehicle at speed and didn’t have a driving licence.

“You drove on the wrong side of the roundabout and ploughed into the car and you had seven times the limit for a controlled drug in your bloodstream because you’d been taking cocaine,” he said.

“This case is so serious that only an immediate prison sentence can be passed.”

Juliet Donovan, prosecuting, said Harrison had driven the wrong way round the roundabout at the junction of the A143 and A1088 at Ixworth and hit a silver Peugeot head-on.

Although Harrison was seriously injured, the couple in the other car escaped serious injury.

Miss Donovan said that at the time of the collision, Harrison’s motorbike had defective brakes and witnesses described him as driving too fast.

Harrison, 33, of Fore Street, Ipswich, admitted dangerous driving, drug driving, driving an unroadworthy vehicle, driving without insurance and driving without a driving licence.

He was jailed for 18 months and banned from the road for two years and nine months – after which he will have to take an extended re-test.

Neil Saunders for Harrison said his client, who attended court in a wheelchair, was well aware he was facing a prison sentence.

He said Harrison had stupidly decided to drive to Cambridge and wished he could turn back the clock.

Mr Saunders said it was entirely Harrison’s fault that he was in a wheelchair and it wasn’t known at this stage whether or not he would walk again.

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