Horley man sentenced for causing serious injury by dangerous driving following collision in Lingfield
A man has been sentenced to 19 months’ imprisonment (suspended for 18 months), after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving following a collision in Lingfield in November 2019.
Thomas Packham, 27, of Churchill Road, Horley, was also disqualified from driving for two years followed by an extended retest, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, given a tagged curfew for four months and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (14 October).
The court heard how Packham was driving a silver Seat Ibiza along Tandridge Lane around 5.30pm on 27 November 2019 when he was involved in a collision with a black Vauxhall Corsa.
The driver of the Corsa was driving south along Tandridge Lane when he saw a car being driven by Packham’s friend coming towards him from the opposite direction, with Packham’s car behind him. The court heard how Packham then moved from left to right onto the opposite side of the carriageway, colliding head on with the Corsa.
The driver of the Corsa and Packham were taken to hospital to receive medical treatment.
A tractor later arrived and loaded the Seat onto a trailer and took it to an unknown local farm.
It emerged later that evening that the victim had suffered far more serious injuries than first thought and was taken to another hospital where he was placed in intensive care having suffered numerous fractures and internal injuries.
Officers later tried to take blood samples from Packham as part of the drink and drug drive procedure but he refused.
Following the collision, police made extensive enquiries to locate Packham’s car as part of their investigation but he repeatedly failed to inform them where it was located.
A member of the public later called in to report that they had found the vehicle and it was seized for examination.
Packham was arrested on 15 March 2020 for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to provide a specimen.
Temporary Inspector Geoff Longstaff, who investigated the collision, said: “Packham’s reckless and dangerous driving has left an innocent man, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, with horrific injuries from which he will take many months to fully recover. The fact that Packham then refused to take a blood test and went to such great lengths to prevent police from covering up what had happened by refusing to tell them where his car was, further exacerbated the situation as well as significantly delaying our enquiries.
“Despite all this, we were still able to charge Packham with causing serious injury by dangerous driving and I would like to thank the member of the public who came forward and told us where his vehicle was located.
“Thanks to the hard work and expert evidence provided from our forensic collision investigator PC Gibson, Packham was faced with overwhelming evidence of his poor standard of driving and chose to plead guilty. I would also like to thank my team for their hard work as well.”
T/Insp Longstaff added: “I hope that the sentence he has been given today will help the victim to start moving on with his life and will send a strong message to motorists that dangerous driving, or driving under the influence of drink or drugs, will not be tolerated and may have serious and far-reaching consequences – including serious injury or even the loss of someone else’s life.”