Drink-driver distracted by rolling beer bottle jailed for injuring woman driver

A carer suffered life-changing injuries when her car was hit by a drink-driver distracted by a beer bottle rolling from underneath the passenger seat.

Jamie Baldock

Paula Parker, who had to be cut free from her Ford Fiesta, sat in court in a wheelchair as Huddersfield student Jamie Baldock, 22, was locked up for three years after he admitted causing her serious injuries by dangerous driving.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Baldock, a student of criminology and sociology at Sheffield Hallam University, had been drinking beer, whisky and champagne on a night out but when he couldn’t stay at a friend’s home tried to sleep off the alcohol in his mother’s Toyota Urban Cruiser.

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Just before 7am the next morning he decided to drive home. After two-and-a-half miles he was distracted by a bottle rolling around in the vehicle and drove straight across a bend on the A65 Coutances Way, Ilkley.

Mrs Parker had surgery to remove her spleen and part of her small intestine and was treated for fractures to her left leg and right foot. She was told she would never fully recover her injuries.

Baldock, of Turnshaw Road, Kirkburton, Huddersfield was found to be about three times the legal drink-drive limit.

He told police he had been surprised when he saw the beer bottle roll from underneath the passenger seat and when he looked up the Fiesta car was in front of him.

Baldock told officers he had made an extremely stupid mistake and he said he felt “gutted” about what had happened.

Judge Jonathan Rose said Baldock had caused “irreparable, permanent and long-lasting serious harm” to Mrs Parker.

“Sleeping it off does not make the alcohol in your blood go away,” the judge told Baldock.

“You were drunk. You’re a drink driver who has ruined a woman’s life - that’s why you are going to prison for a substantial period of time today.”