Louth War Memorial crash man is given two-year driving ban

The aftermath of the collision at Louth War Memorial in March this year.
The aftermath of the collision at Louth War Memorial in March this year.

A man who crashed his car into Louth War Memorial causing £20,000 worth of damage, had been drinking all afternoon until bar staff refused to serve him any more, a court has been told.

Fraser James Adam, 29 of Jubilee Crescent, Louth, admitted driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop after the accident, when he appeared before Deputy District Judge Hallsworth sitting at Skegness Magistrates Court.

Marie Stace, prosecuting, said that an off duty police officer driving his car in Ramsgate, Louth had to take evasive action to avoid being hit on a mini roundabout by Adam in his Fiat Punto at around 8.40pm on March 15 this year.

Adam then crashed into the war memorial, she said, and demolished some of the stonework and a fence causing damage valued at £20,000.

She said the officer got out of his car to assist but when he told Adam, who had had to climb out through his car window, that he was a police officer, Adam became aggressive and tried to leave.

Ms Stace said the officer grabbed hold of Adam’s jacket, but he wriggled out of it and ran away, slightly injuring the officer, who was recovering from a knee operation, in the process.

She said Adam had been drinking in a local bar all the afternoon and had consumed four or five pints of lager watching a football match and had been refused any more drink by bar staff.

He eventually surrendered to the police more than two hours later, at 10.50pm and gave a positive breath test.

A urine sample revealed a reading of 160 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine, she said. The legal limit is 105.

Adam admitted to driving at between 30 and 40mph although witnesses said it was faster.

He told police that ‘leaving was a stupid thing to do’ but he had become ‘panicky and confused’ and ‘just wanted to get away’ and had walked around Louth before handing himself in.

Mitigating, Saleem Khan said there was nothing on Adam’s record to aggravate the case but he had become subject to a lot of on­line abuse arising from the incident.

Mr Khan said Adam had since given up drinking alcohol and realised it had been a ‘stupid, foolish and reckless risk to drive home’.

Telling Adam that his behaviour on that night was ‘extremely poor’, Judge Hallsworth said the only good decision he made that night was to surrender to the police later.

Adam was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay £50 compensation to the police officer who was slightly injured, as well as £145 in surcharges and costs.

He was also banned from driving for two years but was offered the drink drivers’ rehabilitation course, which would reduce the period of disqualification by six months.