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A man who drove whilst drunk and skipped a red light which led to a collision that seriously injured two people last year has been jailed for his reckless actions. Loic Freeman, aged 26 and of Bullinghope in Hereford, appeared at Gloucester Crown Court yesterday, Thursday 12 August, where he was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to three years and nine months reduced to two years and six months to allow for his guilty plea for the first offence, with the same sentence being given concurrently for the second offence reduced to 20 months in recognition of his guilty plea. He was also sentenced to an extended period of disqualification from driving of 15 months with a further period of three and a half years to run on his release from prison. Officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit attended the collision on Halfpenny Bridge in Lechlade at the end of May last year shortly before 10pm which involved Freeman, another vehicle and members of the public who were watching the NASA launch of the SpaceX rocket. Upon attendance it was found that Freeman's car, an Audi A5, had collided with a Mercedes-Benz which was travelling along a narrow bridge operated by traffic lights. Freeman had driven through a red light when the vehicle he was driving collided with the Mercedes, it caused the car to spin, mount the pavement and collide with a wall. A group of four pedestrians were in the area at the time with one woman, 47-year-old Nadine Wood from Lechlade, being pinned between the Audi and a wall which caused serious injuries. She was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by air ambulance and was later treated for fractures to her right leg and pelvis, both of which were life changing. As a result of the collision she now has multiple metal plates in her pelvis and blood clots within her lungs. She is still suffering from her injuries more than a year after the collision and has reduced mobility. The front seat passenger of the Mercedes, a man in his 40s from Swindon who does not wish to be named due to still coming to terms with what happened, suffered life changing injuries to his abdomen. He was taken to Great Western Hospital in Swindon where he received an operation to fit a stoma and nearly died twice. He too is still suffering from his injuries and like Nadine Wood has had several operations as part of his on-going treatment and care. Freeman walked away from the scene leaving the pedestrian, Nadine Wood, trapped between his car and the side of the bridge screaming in agony, and when officers attended his whereabouts were unknown. There were a large number of members of the public and emergency service workers who were able to assist officers in locating Freeman, who was found nearby. He was detained by officers from Wiltshire Police, who noted that he smelt strongly of alcohol when he admitted to driving the car at the time of the collision. Officers required Freeman to provide a sample of breath and conducted the roadside breathalyser procedure, with a reading of 127; this being nearly four times the drink drive limit. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving a motor vehicle whilst over the prescribed alcohol limit and causing serious injury by dangerous driving before being charged with two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving earlier this year. Gloucestershire Constabulary has now released dashcam footage of the collision, with permission from the victims, which shows the recklessness of Freeman's actions and the impact it had on those who were in the area at the time.PC Tim Griffiths said: Dashcam footage from the Mercedes Benz which was involved and shows the collision can be found here ➡️ https://we.tl/t-fZKjt37lac (warning, footage shows point of impact of both vehicles)
Joe William Stafford pleaded guilty to being over the legal limit with 89 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath (legal limit is 35) when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford this week. Police were called after receiving reports that a motorist had driven the wrong way along a one-way street and had crashed into the Central Bakery in Leominster before fleeing the scene back in November which we reported here. We have been advised that Mr Stafford had sent the bakery and a letter of apology along with a cheque for £500. Magistrates in Hereford disqualified Stafford from driving for 18 months and fined him £326 with costs of £135 and a £34 victim surcharge which he must pay. Hannah Lewis who is a director of the bakery has been in touch with us and she has informed us that the police have not been in touch to inform her of the court case and merely took a statement over the phone. A police officer arrived the following day (5th of November) asking her to sign her statement but she is very disappointed not to have heard back from the police since. Hannah also told us that she had received a letter from Mr Stafford along with a cheque for £500 and has repeatedly asked for advice from the police about this but is very disappointed that she has yet not received a single reply.