Drink-driving car salesman who drove wrong way down a road and abandoned his crashed car is jailed

A CAR salesman who had been in Jersey for less than two weeks has been jailed for driving the wrong way on a town road, running a red light and crashing his car at the Airport roundabout.

(87877) (26914527)
(87877) (26914527)

Kyle Thomas Westwell (26), of St Peter, did not have enough money for a taxi following an evening in St Helier and decided to drive home, the Magistrate’s Court heard.

The police discovered his car abandoned at the entrance to the staff car park at Les Ormes and a breath test later revealed he was over the drink-drive limit.

He admitted charges of dangerous driving, drink-driving and failing to report an accident and was jailed for six months at the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, said: ‘In my view you took unacceptable risks with the safety of the public and of the passenger.

‘Bearing in mind the risk taken, I find you cannot avoid custody today.’

Police legal adviser Simon Crowder, prosecuting, said a call was made to the police about a black Mercedes blocking the staff entrance at Les Ormes at around 8am on 6 November last year.

The car belonged to his employers, and police found that it had sustained damage and that two of its tyres were deflated. Shortly after the police arrived at Les Ormes, the defendant returned to the car.

Inquiries found that Westwell had come to the Island the previous week and was working as a car sales representative, a job he subsequently lost.

He told the police he had struck a kerb at the Airport roundabout and carried on driving towards where he was living, but that because two tyres were deflated he could not drive any further.

His breath test gave a reading of 36 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Further investigations of CCTV in St Helier showed Westwell in the car crossing the central reservation near to The Royal Yacht and driving on the wrong side of the road in the early hours of the morning, before running through a red light at speed.

Mr Crowder told the court that Westwell had driven to the Airport, where he struck a kerb, mounted the verge, and ended up hitting a fence.

He added that Westwell had a previous conviction for drink-driving in the UK.

Advocate Lucy Marks, defending, said her client had gone out for one or two drinks and intended to drive home, but stayed out and planned to get a bus home.

However, he missed the last service and when he and his friend did not have money for a taxi, Westwell ‘foolishly’ got into his car, dropped his friend off, then continued to drive home.

She said he had little knowledge of Jersey’s roads and did not realise he had to report an accident. She added that her client had been in Jersey for a handful of days and urged the Magistrate not to issue a custodial sentence, as he was waiting for a heart valve operation, and being sent to prison would delay the process.

Advocate Marks added: ‘He realises there are consequences to his actions. This was a mistake and he has learned his lesson.’

As well as being jailed for six months, Westwell was banned from driving for four years.

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