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Teenager banned from road after careless driving left woman in a wheelchair

Ipswich Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

An 18-year-old has been banned from the road for a year after causing a crash that has left a 71-year-old woman needing a wheelchair for nine months.

Kalum Benham, of The Owell, Pakenham, pleaded guilty at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to driving without due care and attention.

Prosecutor Waseem Raja said Benham had caused a three-vehicle crash in Stanton Road in Barnham on July 29 this year when he took a bend at 55mph and hit the curb.

The court heard how he lost control of the vehicle and hit an oncoming Volkswagen Golf and rolled into a field opposite, with the car ending up on its roof.

The Golf he collided with continued along the road and hit a Volkswagen Caddy coming the opposite direction head-on.

The driver of the Golf, a 71-year-old woman, suffered loss of consciousness, a broken femur, sternum back and ribs, a broken collar bone and a broken hip as a result of the crash.

She required 16 days of hospital treatment and has been left 100% reliant on her family for her care.

She was left unable to walk, under doctors’ instructions, for nine months.

The driver of the Caddy van suffered pain and swelling to his right wrist, bruising to his knees and scrapes and suffered a loss of earnings as a self-employed gardener.

Fining Benham £200 and banning him from the road for 12 months, presiding magistrate Paul Thacker said he would need to take his driving test again before he could get behind the wheel.

He said: “This was a serious accident.

“Everybody knows how serious it has been.
“For you as a young driver I am sure it has been something you wish never to repeat again.

“This was still within two years of passing your test.

“For us, a re-sit is important.

“In view of the impact it has had on others, we find we must disqualify you.”

Mr Thacker said Benham has shown remorse for his actions and gave him credit for his early plea.

However the magistrate said the crash “caused great harm” to those involved.

Benham was also made to pay costs of £100 and a £30 victim surcharge.

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