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New driver narrowly keeps licence despite causing serious injury in crash

PUBLISHED: 06:30 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:44 03 April 2019

Phoebe Dent pulled out of Thieves Bridge Road onto the A10 Lynn Road in Watlington where she collided with another car. Picture: Google

Phoebe Dent pulled out of Thieves Bridge Road onto the A10 Lynn Road in Watlington where she collided with another car. Picture: Google

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A 20-year-old new driver from a 'close-knit farming family' has narrowly kept her driving licence despite causing serious injuries to two people in a crash.

Phoebe Dent, of Thieves Bridge Road, Watlington, crashed into another car as she pulled out of Thieves Bridge Road onto the A10, causing serious injuries to others as well as herself.

She appeared in Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday where she pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, which carries a penalty of either a disqualification or between three and nine points.

The court heard the crash happened at around 11.36am on September 23, where Dent had pulled out of the junction to turn right but collided with another car.

Prosecutor Lucy Miller said passengers in two of the other cars were seriously injured as was Dent.

“The other two parties have continuing problems,” Ms Miller added.

Ms Miller told the court Dent had only passed her driving test three weeks before the crash but that she was familiar with the car she was driving in.
Matthew Edwards, mitigating for Dent, said she had suffered a fractured pelvis and injury to her leg.

He said Dent has been suffering from depression since the crash, adding: “It’s a deeply upsetting incident for her, she has an overwhelming sense of guilt.”

Mr Edwards described Dent as someone from a close-knit farming family who works as a team coordinator for a molecular biology firm in Cambridge.

Since the crash, Dent has been taking extra driving lessons to boost her confidence in driving, the court heard.

Mr Edwards asked magistrates to consider only penalising Dent with five points on her licence, as six points would mean she would have to lose it and retake her test.

“The loss of her licence would knock on her confidence further,” said Mr Edwards.

A smartly-dressed Dent burst into tears when magistrates agreed to only impose five penalty points on her licence, with chairman Sophie Archer commending her for taking further driving lessons. 
“It was a regrettable incident,” Ms Archer said. “We are very impressed you have gone on to take further driving lessons after that.”

Dent was fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 court costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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