Drink-driver fled A11 crash which left motorbike rider injured

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A drink driver left a motorcyclist with life-changing injuries after causing a crash on the A11 at Bridgham, near Thetford, before fleeing the scene in his badly-damaged BMW, a court heard.

Alexsandrs Steins, 61, who was more than three times the legal drink drive limit, pulled into the overtaking lane of the dual carriageway colliding with motorcyclist Philip Hartles, 56, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said Mr Hartles was thrown from his bike into the central reservation and suffered multiple fractures, which he described as 'life-changing.'

His injuries included a fractured ankle, wrist and pelvis and he had to spend six weeks in hospital and undergo surgery.

Mr Youell said after the crash, Steins had driven off, despite having a flat front tyre and his bumper hanging off his car.

Steins was eventually stopped near a roundabout, at Attleborough, and had his car keys taken off him by another motorist until police arrived and he was breathalysed.

Mr Youell said Mr Hartles had still not recovered from his injuries and has had to have time off work as a motorcycle examiner.

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Steins of The Drift, Attleborough, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving on July 1 this year, driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after a collision and driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Judge Mark Dennis jailed Steins for 16 months and banned him from driving for two years eight months.

He said: 'It was pure chance that this accident did not result in fatal injury to that motorcyclist.'

He said the high level of alcohol put both him and other road users at risk and said after the crash he had driven six miles with his vehicle in a dangerous condition: 'You did not face up to what you had done and try to help out the person you had injured.'

Andrew Oliver for Steins, a farm labourer, said he had moved to this country from Latvia seven years ago and on the day of the crash had been celebrating a friend's birthday and they had been drinking vodka, but after an argument he decided to drive home rather than stay the night as planned.

He said Steins was shocked and anxious about the incident and was 'deeply remorseful.'

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