Drug driver banned for running over toddler

A drug driver has walked free from court after she ran over a two year-old girl at a caravan site.

Clare Watmough from Buxton, Derbyshire was banned from driving for a two and a half years after she admitted driving under the influence of cocaine and without due care and attention.

Caernarfon magistrates heard the toddler was left with life threatening injuries at the Ty’n Rhos caravan park near Lligwy in April.

The girl had been playing nearby when Watmough, a children’s care manager, reversed her 4×4. She was airlifted to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor and later transferred to intensive care at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

In a victim impact statement, the child’s mother said the long term effects of the incident were unknown – and her rehabilitation was proving difficult.

She added: ”It has been a very difficult time which will continue whilst we all find ways to cope and rebuild our lives. Being told she may not survive was so distressing it is hard to put into words.”

The defence said Watmough, who tested positive for cocaine upon her arrest, had taken cocaine occasionally – including the night before the incident – but had since stopped.

She was ‘genuinely remorseful’ and insisted she wouldn’t have driven if she had known the metabolite of the drug was still in her blood.

Watmough, who was banned for 30 months, was also fined £320 and told to pay another £85 in costs. She must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.

After the hearing on Tuesday, Sergeant Raymond Williams from the Roads Policing Unit said the toddler avoided death by ‘mere centimetres’.

”It is more through good fortune other than anything else that the toddler survived. I was present at Ysbyty Gwynedd when the prognosis looked extremely bleak and a decision made to transfer her to Alder Hey for specialist care but unsure if she would survive the journey. Thankfully, she survived and we send her, and her family, all our best as her recovery continues.”

”This is yet another example of a selfish individual who decided to use an illegal drug – cocaine, for recreational use without considering the consequences of her actions.”

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