Motorist who crashed through a garden wall in Dereham had been adjusting his radio

Norwich Magistrates Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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

A man who crashed through a garden wall and into a tree after he lost control of his car while adjusting the radio has escaped a ban.

Oliver Rutherford, 26, had been driving a Mercedes car on Littlefields, Dereham at the junction with Mary Unwin Road when he lost control on a bend.

The car went straight into the garden of a property, demolishing a wall and hedge before becoming embedded into a tree, causing a significant amount of damage.

Rutherford, of Tilney Road, East Tuddenham, Dereham, was previously convicted in his absence of driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident on July 8 last year.

The defendant appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court so magistrates could consider whether to disqualify him.


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Andrew Spence, for Rutherford, said his client told police in interview that 'his attention was drawn away from driving momentarily as he tried to adjust the radio'.

Mr Spence said Rutherford, who was driving a friend at the time, accepted there had been a 'momentary lapse' which resulted in the crash.

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But Mr Spence said while his client did leave the scene, he drove a short distance to his friend's house to 'summon help' and returned to the scene within an hour.

Mr Spence said he also voluntarily went to the police station the next day to tell them what happened.

He told magistrates that a ban would have 'serious ramifications' for his client who worked as a quantity surveyor at sites across East Anglia and drives from site to site.

Mr Spence said if Rutherford, who also drives his grandmother about, were to be disqualified for a significant period it was likely he would lose his employment.

Magistrates endorsed Rutherford's licence with five penalty points, taking it to a total of 11 which allowed him to keep his licence.

He was also fined £260, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

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