Jail for man who abandoned his van and 'walked home' after crashing into a roadside bank

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A VAN driver who crashed his vehicle into a roadside bank, failed to report the accident and refused to give the police a breath sample after a second arrest has been jailed for 30 weeks.

Connor Tyson Joel Hansford (33) initially denied the charges of failing to report an accident and failing to provide a specimen without reasonable excuse.

But he was found guilty at a trial in April.

Advocate Luke Sette, prosecuting, told the Magistrate’s Court yesterday that Hansford had crashed his van into a bank in Mont Fallu in St Peter on the evening of 6 May last year.

Police officers found the badly damaged vehicle abandoned at the scene.

‘The passenger door was open but the driver’s door was jammed shut,’ said Advocate Sette.

Connor Tyson Joel Hansford Picture: STATES OF JERSEY POLICE

They found Hansford at his home the following morning.

‘There was still alcohol in his system,’ the advocate said. ‘He provided “no comment” answers.’

On the evening of 4 December last year, Hansford was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

The States police were called to a house following reports of a row, and found his vehicle outside.

The bonnet and exhaust pipe were warm, indicating that it had recently been driven, and Advocate Sette said: ‘His speech was slurred, he was unsteady on his feet and he smelt of intoxicant.’

Hansford refused to give a breath specimen at police headquarters.

‘He complained that his lip was cut but he was capable of breathing into the device,’ said Advocate Sette.

Hansford pleaded guilty to using his phone while driving along Hill Street in St Helier on 20 May last year.

Advocate Greg Herold-Howes, defending, said that his client admitted early the charge of using a phone while driving.

Of the crash, he said: ‘He left the scene and walked home because the vehicle wouldn’t start and he had banged his head. He thought that he would deal with it in the morning.’

He added: ‘There were no injuries and the damage to the bank was minimal.’

He said Hansford still maintained that he was unable to provide the breath sample in December because of the cut to his lip.

Hansford has several previous convictions but Advocate Herold-Howes said: ‘He had been absent from the court system for seven years.’

However, Magistrate Bridget Shaw said: ‘These were offences involving driving and involving drinking, and you show no remorse.

‘This is a case where I have to send you to custody. The offences you are facing are suitable for custody.’

She also banned him from driving for 42 months.

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