Teacher's misery at hands of driver

A MUSIC teacher was left fighting for his life after being knocked from his bike by an uninsured driver.

Simon Tomlinson

A MUSIC teacher was left fighting for his life after being knocked from his bike by an uninsured driver.

Today David Ruddock, is counting the cost of the driver's actions, both physically and financially.

He can no longer drive because of his horrific head injuries, which means he has already lost out on £2,500 in earnings following the crash in Ellenbrook Road, Ipswich last month.

And driver Christopher Gardiner of Rydal Walk, Ipswich has been told he could face jail after he got behind the wheel of a van without a driving licence and without insurance and smashed into Mr Ruddock, before panicking and driving off.

Gardiner is the latest uninsured driver to be named and shamed by The Evening Star in a new campaign which aims to highlight all those who shun the law and drive without insurance.

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Staggering figures revealed previously in the Star show that there were more than 40,000 offences of people driving without insurance in the county in the last ten years.

Gardiner,22, already had two previous convictions for driving without insurance and had not renewed his licence after a previous ban when he decided to drive on behalf of a friend who was too drunk.

Now his victim, Mr Ruddock, is faced with the arduous process of claiming compensation through an independent motor insurance board which is funded by the taxpayer.

Mr Ruddock said: “Uninsured drivers cause accidents and they should be aware of the damage they do.

“I had to claim a few years ago when I was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorcyclist. You have to be patient with the claim.”

Mr Ruddock, who lives in south east Ipswich, said: “The van knocked into the right side of me and I fell to the ground while it went storming off.

“I blacked out. All I know after that is what I have been told by other people.

“I have never had an accident like this before. My condition is improving but I am limited with what I can do.”

He was initially taken to Ipswich Hospital but then transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge because he required specialist care.

He has been advised not to drive until his condition improves and this has restricted the number of pupils he can teach, which has already cost him more than £2,500 in earnings.

- What is your view on uninsured drivers? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

The court case:-

MAGISTRATES in Ipswich have warned Christopher Gardiner that he could face jail for his irresponsibility.

David Ruddock was left with bleeding on his brain after Gardiner hit him with his wing mirror in Ellenbrook Road on October 23.

Stephen Colman , prosecuting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said Mr Ruddock's injuries could have killed him.

Gardiner, admitted to failing to stop at the scene of an accident, driving without a licence and with no insurance and also to not driving with due care and attention.

The accident happened when a white Vauxhall Combo van driven by Gardiner tried to overtake Mr Ruddock while rounding a traffic island.

Gardiner told magistrates the three men in the van were having an argument as they approached Bobbits Lane, so he was not paying full attention to the road.

Chairman of the bench, Dawn Girling, said Gardiner could face jail, but granted him unconditional bail until he is sentenced on December 5.

Gardiner was given an interim disqualification from driving.