Vodka drinking driver escapes jail sentence

PUBLISHED: 07:01 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 24 May 2010

A DRUNKEN Weston driver who slammed his car into a tree and left a woman passenger with horrific multiple injuries has walked out of court with a suspended prison sentence. Lee Nicholas was catapulted from the car and suffered a smashed spine and six brok

A DRUNKEN Weston driver who slammed his car into a tree and left a woman passenger with horrific multiple injuries has walked out of court with a suspended prison sentence.Lee Nicholas was catapulted from the car and suffered a smashed spine and six broken and detached ribs when Nathan Stocker slammed on his brakes. The 23-year-old, of Jubilee Road, was trying to drown his sorrows after splitting up with his girlfriend but then offered a friend and her mum a lift home.They became alarmed when he started speeding and swigging from a bottle of vodka with his hands off the wheel and asked him to stop.He admitted one charge of dangerous driving and one charge of driving with excess alcohol when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court. Stocker was handed a 28-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months with the requirement that he will be supervised for 12 months and will attend a 14-week drink impaired drivers' programme. James Haskell, prosecuting, said Stocker had been drinking in a Weston pub on December 2 last year when he met his friend Amy Walker and her mum, Ms Nicholas.He said: "At the end of the evening he gave both ladies a lift home. He drove along Jubilee Road and went into Locking Road at about 2am. "Miss Walker said she felt terrified and the back of the car began to skid and she shouted for Mr Stocker to stop the car. He slammed on the brakes and crashed into a tree."Mr Haskell said Ms Nicholas was still in a lot of pain and doctors feared she would never make a full recovery, although she is now walking. Stocker broke a leg in two places. He was almost twice the legal drink drive limit.Nadeem Aullybocus, defending, said Stocker had not driven to the pub and had not intended to meet people.He said the defendant had been in a rocky relationship and had been taking medication for depression for two years.He said Stocker decided to give the ladies a lift because it was damp and he had to walk to his father's home to get his car. He said Ms Nicholas had since received £38,000 from an insurance company and her daughter, £17,500.

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