A man who lost control of his Mercedes and ploughed into a crowd of people at a ‘cruise event’ in Peterborough has admitted seriously injuring people as a result of his dangerous driving.
Anthony Francis (21) of Lambeth Walk, Stamford, was taking part in the event in Stapledon Road, Orton Southgate on August 8 when he lost control of his car and hit a kerb.
The defendant was trying to do a ‘drift’ manoeuvre, when he lost control of his Mercedes and collided with the crowd. A number of serious injuries were caused to witnesses,Giles Beaumont
The car then crashed into a group of around 50 people, seriously injuring five of them.
A witness described people ‘flying into the air’ in the moments following the collision.
Today (Wednesday) he appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and one count of dangerous driving. Giles Beaumont, prosecuting, said: “The incident happened at an industrial estate in Orton Southgate. There were a large number of car enthusiasts in attendance for the purpose of watching people drive their vehicles round a car park.
“The defendant was trying to do a ‘drift’ manoeuvre, when he lost control of his Mercedes and collided with the crowd. A number of serious injuries were caused to witnesses, as well as some less serious injuries to others.”
Mr Beaumont read part of a witness statement out to the court, which said: “I saw him (Francis) go round five times. He came round again, giving it some, and he got into a slide. It was immediately apparent he did not know what he was doing.
“He hit a kerb, which lifted the car, and ploughed into a group of 50 people.
“I saw people flying into the air, at least one went under the car. One went through the windscreen, and one went over the bonnet.”
Mr Beaumont said the case was too serious to be sentenced by magistrates, and it should be committed to Peterborough Crown Court for sentencing.
Andy Cave, defending, agreed and said: “We agree the correct jurisdiction is at the crown court.
“Through me Mr Francis wishes to express his remorse to the court and to the victims.”
Magistrate Graham Collins imposed an interim driving disqualification, and said: “We will commit you to be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court as we do not think our powers are sufficient.”
Francis was granted bail until the sentencing hearing, which will be on a date to be confirmed.