Woman jailed after crawling out of overturned car she crashed while drunk and fleeing the scene

A woman who drove home after drinking at a pub reggae night flipped her car onto its roof before running away, a court heard.

Monday, 22nd October 2018, 12:18 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd October 2018, 1:20 pm
Crown Court News
Crown Court News

Joy Wright, 57 of Villa Court, Cambridge, drank three pints of beer at the Carlton Arms before deciding to get behind the wheel of her Volkswagen Golf to drive home – a distance of just over one mile.

On her journey, just after midnight on Sunday 6 May, she lost control and smashed into a parked car on Alex Wood Road.

The crash flipped her car onto its roof, blocking the road, and the sound of the collision was so loud it brought nearby residents out onto the street.

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Crown Court News

Fearing she would fail a roadside breath test and be arrested, Wright then crawled from her car and ran away from the scene, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Wright managed to make it home but later admitted she had to sleep in her back garden as she couldn’t wake anyone to let her in, and had left her house keys behind in her crashed car.

Later on that morning, Wright called the police and claimed her car had been stolen while she was inside the pub.

Several days later she replied to a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) again repeating that her car had been stolen, and therefore she was not the driver when the crash took place.

On 18 May she attended Parkside Police Station for a voluntary interview, and after being challenged that the theft of her car was a lie, finally agreed.

Wright admitted that she was driving the car at the time of the crash and said hitting the parked car was her fault because she had been drinking.

In police interview, she told police she had drank two pints of Stella and a pint of Guinness due to the pub having a reggae themed night.

She claimed she had run away from her overturned car because she was frightened and stressed due to a number of personal problems, including two recent family bereavements.

Wright claimed she had a number of health problems and needed her driving licence for work, so was scared this would be taken away from her.

Wright previously pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, fraud by false representation, failing to report an accident, failing to stop after an accident and perverting the course of justice.

At Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (18 October) Wright was sentenced to four months in prison. She was also disqualified from driving for 20 months.

PC Jamie Williams said: “I hope this sentence serves as warning to those drivers who think they can provide false details to the police, anticipating that it won't be followed up.

“It is only by luck that someone wasn’t more seriously injured when Wright decided to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The consequences could have been so much worse.

“I would urge people to report others who they may suspect of drink driving. It could save a great deal of heart ache, and even perhaps a life.”

Police are asking for the public’s help in targeting motorists who drive under the influence of drink and drugs.

People are being urged to help catch those under the influence by using the confidential reporting line - 0800 032 0845, which is available 24/7, or report online at https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report-Shared/Report-anti-social-drivingFor more information on drink and drug driving, visit the force’s road safety pages.