One of my pet hates in this world is people who drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. So many people lose loved ones because of this extremely selfish crime and it looks like the Great British justice system is finally starting to toughen up on their punishments of drivers who are convicted of death by dangerous driving and driving under the influence.
A case which caught my attention recently was the sentencing of Connor Bainbridge. 21 year-old Bainbridge caused the death of 17 year-old Thompson and seriously injured his female passenger after driving whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol. It was also brought to the attention of the court that Bainbridge had no insurance and only held a provisional licence.
Bainbridge, who was driving his female passengers mothers Skoda Fabia, was driving at 78mph in a 40mph zone whilst high on a cocktail of cocaine, ecstacy, cannabis and alcohol as well as suffering from having no sleep.
Prosecutor, M Giuliani, stated that Bainbridge overtook a car at 69mph then continued to accelerate and tyre marks, at the scene, showed he had reached 78mph, just before the 40mph zone reduces to a 30mph zone.
“The overtaking manoeuvre, coupled with excessive high speed, caused him to lose control of the Skoda. Effectively, he was driving beyond the Skoda’s road-handling ability… He moved from side to side six times. The person he overtook formed the view that he was fighting to keep control. He failed to… The car became airborne, all four wheels leaving the road, and it rotated 90 degrees for 20 feet then hit the bridge wall.”
17 year-old Thompson was in the backseat of the car and was pronouced dead at the scene sue to head and chest injuries. The 17 year-old girl, who was in the front passenger seat, needed seven hours of emergency surgery and was put in an induced coma. Bainbridge broke his shoulder and leg and also required surgery.
M Scarborough, Bainbridge’s defence, said that Bainbridge has no previous convictions and was remorseful for his crime. He also added that Bainbridge had lost his father at the age of 18 and had turned to drugs as a coping mechanism.
Bainbridge was sentenced, by Mr Justice Goss, to five years and four months in prison as well as a five year driving ban to begin upon his release.
Now, I understand that he lost his father at the age of 18, however, there are other ways to deal with grief rather than turn to drugs. This isn’t the reason for the crime, the crime was caused by a selfish and stupid act, the fact that his father died 3 years previously was merely an excuse.
It was Bainbridge’s decision to get into the car, it was his decision to start the car and drive off. He would of known that he wasn’t capable of driving after taking his drugs cocktail just like he knew that driving whilst under the influence, as well as driving with no insurance and only having a provisional is illegal. But he decided to do it anyway.
I just hope that Bainbridge sees prison as an opportunity to come off the drugs and deal with his grief in a more stable and healthy manner which doesn’t cause harm to anyone else.