Crash driver told he could have been jailed

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A driver crashed his Mercedes into a taxi before running from the scene, pursued by one of the taxi passengers .

Christopher Wainwright, of Billa Barra Lane, Markfield, Leicester, crashed his car into a taxi in Gonerby Road on July 15.

Wainwright, 30, admitted failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to provide a specimen of breath for the police.

Marie Stace, prosecuting, told the court Wainwright almost caused a crash in Conduit Lane before witnesses saw him swerving onto the wrong side of the road several times as he drove away from town before crashing near the junction of Gonerby Road and Cliffe Road.

One witness who came upon the accident immediately afterwards said he “looked towards the Mercedes and saw the driver get out and begin to run down Gonerby Road towards North Parade”.

Mrs Stace said that the taxi driver was described by the witness as being in a “very distressed” state.

A passenger then chased after Wainwright, eventually finding him in the garden of a home in Gonerby Hill Foot.

Chris Pye-Smith, defending, said Wainwright admitted a charge of failing to provide a specimen but said he did attempt to provide a breath test numerous times, with one successful reading of 119 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath - more than three times the legal limit.

However, two readings are required by the police.

Mr Pye-Smith added: “What happened on that evening was isolated and entirely out of character.”

Wainwright was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for three years.

Chair of magistrates Jenny James said: “You have come extremely close to going to prison today.”