Drink driver sentenced following Middlewich collision Date published: 25th June 2019 2.38pm

A drink driver who collided with a pedestrian in Middlewich and left him with life changing injuries has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Stewart Russell, of Woodend Close, Middlewich, appeared at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 20 June, where he pleaded guilty to drink driving.

The 41-year-old was handed an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

He will also have to complete a 14-day accredited programme for drink drivers, as well as pay £85 court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

The collision occurred at around 10.15pm on Friday 17 May.

Russell was driving a black Volkswagen Golf GTi which hit a 56-year-old man who was walking on the pedestrian crossing on Chadwick Road in Middlewich.

The impact of the collision caused the pedestrian to be thrown into the air and left him fighting for his life in hospital.

He sustained multiple broken bones as a result of the collision, including a broken neck, a broken collarbone, broken ribs and a fractured eye socket.

The man also suffered a bleed on the brain and a collapsed lung.

Russell was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drink driving after a failing a roadside breath test.

He had 48 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of his breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Police Constable Jim Rodger said: “This case demonstrates the repercussions of driving under the influence of alcohol.

“On the night of the collision Russell took the decision to drive, despite the fact that he had drunk several alcoholic drinks.

“As a result of that decision the victim in this case has been left with life changing injuries and Russell has now lost his driving licence and been order to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, which will have a serious impact on his personal life and his livelihood.

“The victim is slowly recovering from the injuries he sustained as a result of Russell’s selfish actions and it is not yet known if he will fully recover.

“However, I hope that the conclusion of the case will give him some closure and allow him to move forward with his life.”

Russell’s sentencing coincides with a countywide crackdown on drink and drug drivers which was launched on 17 June.

Superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell, who heads up Cheshire’s Roads and Crime Unit said: “My officers are out and about every day looking for anyone committing one of the fatal 5 offences - drink/drug driving, careless driving, speeding, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

“This crackdown gives us the perfect opportunity to highlight the dangers of one key element off the Fatal 5 - drink/drug driving - and I am asking the public for their support in our mission to make Cheshire’s roads safer.

“We do not go out policing the roads for the sake of it – we are doing it to save lives. People often ask – should you not be spending your time doing something more important and investigating real crimes?

“My response to that is simple - people are dying on our roads. Stopping any more deaths from happening as a result of something unnecessary and totally avoidable, has to be one of our top priorities.”