Police have condemned a joiner from Cheshire, who failed to stop after a serious crash, as ”selfish and unaccpetable”.
James Leach was jailed for sixteen months after he admitted dangerous driving on the A499 last month. The 29 year-old from Chelford was driving a orange Ford Ranger pickup when it hit a Volkswagen Caddy at Llandwrog.
Ifan Price, a 60 year-old man who was driving the Caddy, was seriously injured in the crash between the junction for Dinas Dinlle beach and Allt Goch.
Caernarfon Crown Court heard Leach left the scene without checking the man’s condition – but after a police manhunt, he was tracked down to a caravan park at Efailnewydd, near Pwllheli and arrested. An employee was also questioned but later released without charge.
The defence said Leach, a reformed character who had his own business, had drunk two points the night before and was the designated driver after visiting a nightclub in Bangor.
He claimed he had wandered away after the crash and passed out in a nearby field, but when he returned, the vehicles involved in the crash had gone.
His barrister said he had deep remorse about Mr Price’s injuries – but a plea for a suspended jail sentence was rejected by Judge Huw Rees, despite the guilty plea.
After sentencing, Sergeant Raymond Williams from the Roads Policing Unit, said: ”Leach had no consideration for others as he drove dangerously that morning which unfortunately resulted in a man being seriously injured.”
”It is only by sheer luck that this wasn’t a fatal road traffic collision. He did not stay and wait for the emergency services and did not speak to the other driver or even make any attempt to check on his welfare which was completely selfish and unacceptable.”
”The road had to be closed for several hours whilst we carried out our initial investigation which inconvenienced many commuters that morning…I hope the sentence handed by the court will send out a very clear message that anyone convicted of such offences will be dealt with robustly.”
Leach was also banned from driving for four years and eight months – he must also take an extended retest.