Jail for drink-driver who crashed into family car at Sedgebrook

Arturs Smalnieks.'DOB 21.8.1984'Kedleston Road, Grantham.
Arturs Smalnieks.'DOB 21.8.1984'Kedleston Road, Grantham.
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A drink driver who caused a head-on crash leaving two people seriously injured has been jailed for 33 months and banned from driving for five years.

Arturs Smalnieks was on the wrong side of the road when he collided with the oncoming car on the A52 at Sedgebrook. Both vehicles were so badly damaged they were left “unrecognisable”.

Smalnieks walked away from the scene but later returned to collect his driving documents and was arrested.

The family-of-four in the other vehicle were helped by two lorry drivers who stopped and raised the alarm. The female passenger and a 15-year-old boy were both left with serious injuries.

Smalnieks was also injured and taken to hospital. Tests showed he had 94mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of blood compared to the legal limit of 80 mgs.

Andrew Easteal, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Smalnieks, who was living in Lichfield at the time, then disappeared but was detained last year after moving to Grantham and picking up a parking ticket.

He was taken to court and paid the fine using different credit cards registered in the USA. That sparked an investigation and the cards were found to be cloned.

Police raided his home and discovered equipment which could be used to clone bank and credit cards.

Smalnieks, 29, of Kedleston Road, Grantham, admitted dangerous driving on July 25, 2008. He also admitted fraud in November 2012.

Judge Sean Morris said: “It was a bad piece of driving. It is a miracle anyone survived the collision.”

Andrea Clarke, defending, said Smalnieks had been in the UK since 2006 and is a full-time worker supporting his partner and their child.

She said Smalnieks initially believed that the collision was caused by a tyre blow-out but now accepts his driving was at fault.