Driver smoked cannabis, jumped red light and did 58mph in 30mph zone before crash that hurt 3 people
Manuel Bangoura then ran off – leaving his victims stuck in their vehicle
A dangerous driver in a stolen car smoked cannabis before jumping a red light and crashing into a family’s car, leaving three people injured.
Leicester Crown Court was told that 21-year-old Manuel Bangoura was at the wheel of a black Audi A5, with false number plates, when police tried to stop him in Gipsy Lane, Northfields.
Andrew Peet, prosecuting, said: “The driving lasted just a few seconds but it was plainly quite appalling as CCTV from the helicopter shows.
“The vehicle was identified as stolen when it was picked up on an automatic number plate recognition camera.
“By 12.30pm on Tuesday January 29, the helicopter crew had spotted the stolen vehicle in a side street.
“The police were trying to detain the defendant but he sped off into Gipsy Lane, overtaking traffic.”
Bangoura went through a red light at the cross roads with Victoria Road East at 58 mph in a 30 mph and crashed into the side of a Volvo, badly hurting a middle-aged couple and also injuring their adult daughter in the rear passenger seat.
Mr Peet said: “The defendant was uninjured, unlike his victims, and ran off.
“The helicopter’s thermal imaging camera follows him as he runs through gardens, over fences, running through other people’s property and discarding his coat.
“He ran through a park and entered an area of residential flats at The Towers because someone unknowingly allowed him in.
“The defendant was located in a lavatory and tested positive for cannabis with 3.6 microgrammes of THC in 100 millilitres of blood.
“The legal limit is two microgrammes, so he was almost double.”
Bangoura, of Everest Court, St Matthews, Leicester, admitted two counts of causing serious injury to the Volvo’s driver and front seat passenger, by driving dangerously, driving without a licence or insurance and when under the influence of cannabis, failing to stop at a red light and failing to stop for the police.
The Volvo driver was taken to the intensive care unit at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre but was later transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary.
He suffered fractures to his pelvis, six ribs, his right shoulder blade and three bones in his back – and had bruising to 60 per cent of his body, including a bruised lung.
Their painful injuries resulted in him and his wife spending many weeks sleeping downstairs in armchairs and both felt they were robbed of their independence.
The driver said in a personal impact statement: “The worst part is being unable to sleep in my own bed as it was too painful.
“I’ve lost my beloved car and the doctors say I can’t drive for 10 months. I feel I’ve lost my freedom.”
His wife suffered fractures to her pelvis, two bones in her back and a spleen injury as well as severe bruising.
In her statement she said she was unable to take her grandson to school or football matches or do her gardening, shopping, cooking and housework – and they were reliant on the help of others.
Their daughter, a self-employed single mother, was off work for six weeks, having suffered bruising and broken ribs and helped to care for her parents.
Mr Peet said: “The effect on the victims was extreme, not just the pain and injuries, and for the foreseeable future they will have ongoing issues.”
He said: “The defendant made a deliberate decision to flagrantly disregard the rules of the road and caused great danger to others.”
Judge Robert Brown told Bangoura: “You expressed sorrow for the injuries to your victims, in interview, but then replied no comment to all subsequent questions.
“There’s a list of aggravating features in this case.
“You were driving a stolen vehicle with false number plates and were being followed by the police.
“You swerved around the police vehicle and off you went.
“It was only a short period of driving but it was a bad piece of driving.
“You took risks with other people’s lives in a highly built up area on a major junction and went through a red light.
“The collision was serious and you drove at 58 mph into the side of a car crossing the junction, as it was lawfully going on its way.
“Two of the occupants of the Volvo were seriously injured and their daughter was also hurt, although not as seriously.
“They were stuck in their seat belts inside their car, which overturned, and had to be cut out.”
The judge said the maximum sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving was five years and he was legally obliged to give the defendant a reduction as credit for his guilty pleas.
What was said in defence
Amar Mehta, mitigating, said the defendant did not have any motoring convictions on his record.
He said: “He expressed remorse and said he was sorry that people had been injured.
“The driving was short in duration in terms of time and distance.
“He drove off in panic.
“He has no-one to blame but himself.
“His partner, who’s in court to support him, has written a letter which explains he’s the full time carer for their four-year-old daughter while she works at a retail shop in Leicester.”
Bangoura was jailed for a total of three years and nine months.
He was banned from driving for 58 months.
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