'Dangerous driving' charge over bad tyres

First published in News
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A WOMAN involved in an accident which left a cyclist with ‘catastrophic’ injuries had admitted dangerous driving even though her vehicle was stationary at the time, a court heard.

Preston Crown Court was told that Jodie Postlewaite was in her car on the A595 between Barrow and Askam, because one of her tyres was deflated, when a “dreadful collision” took place.

The sentencing hearing heard that there was no complaint about the manner in which she drove but the charge related to the condition her tyres were in.

A jury cleared Postlewaite, of Sharp Street, Askam, of causing serious injury to cyclist Peter Metcalfe, 53, of Askam, by dangerous driving. But before a trial took place, she had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

The court heard that a front tyre’s outer wall had shredded, consistent with it being run under inflated or deflated.

A police officer felt the exposed cords and lack of treads would have been obvious to anyone using the vehicle.

The officer was also critical of the front nearside tyres which were devoid of tread on the outer edge.

On the date of the offence the woman had been planning a day out and a problem with a tyre caused her to stop, the court heard.

She drove to a garage and pumped more air into the tyre, rather than seek advice there. The tyre deflated again on the return journey.

Defence barrister Jacob Dyer told the court that the message of how important car maintenance was had been ‘drilled home’ to her.

“You can be assured something like this will not happen again,” he told the judge.

He submitted: "This is not a case for custody. She is a good woman, in all respects, but has failed on this occasion to meet the standards in relation to her driving.”

Judge Christopher Cornwall said her failure to ensure she drove in a vehicle that was in a safe condition put herself, her young children and all other road users in danger.

He added that it had been a matter of pure chance that the tyre had deflated slowly, allowing her to pull into the nearside without incident.

He said the outcome could have been very different if there had been a sudden deflation while travelling.

Postlewaite was given a three- month community order, which will involve a curfew from 9pm through to 6am each night.

She was given a 12-month driving ban, with an extended test before she can get behind the wheel in future.

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