Gloucestershire civil servant jailed for two years for drink drive crash
1:30pm Friday 31st January 2014 in News
A GLOUCESTERSHIRE civil servant who was three times over the drink-drive limit when he crashed into a teenage Dutch holidaymaker - causing life-changing injuries - has been jailed for two years.
David Glassonbury, 46, failed to negotiate a bend in Frampton-on-Severn and careered across the road into a parked car.
Standing by the open rear doorway of the VW Touran car was 17-year-old Derk Van Dijk who was on holiday in the UK with his family. They had pulled up in an off road parking area for a picnic by the canal in Frampton.
Prosecutor Julian Kesner told Gloucester Crown Court that local people heard 'terrible screams' from Derk as Glassonbury smashed into him, virtually severing his left leg at the ankle.
Derk has since undergone numerous operations to save his leg and has had to have muscle and tissue transplanted to the ankle and calf from his shoulder.
Glassonbury, a divorced father-of-three of Mendip Close, Quedgeley, admitted dangerous driving causing serious injury and driving with excess alcohol on his breath on July 14 last year.
Judge William Hart jailed Glassonbury for two years and banned him from driving for three.
"You caused an accident which led to the near amputation of Derk's left leg as he stood at the side of the family car eating a sandwich on a sunny day in July," said the judge.
"It happened because you were driving too fast and dangerously. You were doing that because you had in your system three times the legal alcohol limit.
"You must have been well aware of your impairment - you were clearly wholly unfit to drive.
"The injury to Derk has been one with very considerable consequences. He has borne what must be a devastating injury for a young man with fortitude.
"Yet he is not full of recrimination against you or of self pity - his statement is full of optimism and positivity.
"Of course though the reality is that he will never be able to go entirely back to normal."
The judge said he took into account Glassonbury's previous good character and long career in the civil service but he would be failing in his duty if he did not impose immediate jail for such serious offences.
Mr Kesner had told the court that immediately after the collision with the teenager Glassonbury admitted he had been going too fast into the bend and it was his fault.
He said he had drunk three pints of cider that day - although later he changed his story and claimed he'd only had one pint but had been drinking heavily the night before.
In his victim impact statement Derk said he was still finding the injury 'painful and inconvenient' and was missing about 50 percent of his school studies because of his condition and ongoing treatment.
He no longer has the energy nor the concentration level he used to have, he stated.
Defence solicitor Lloyd Jenkins said Glassonbury was consumed by guilt and a sense of devastation that he had caused such a serious injury.
Glassonbury had an alcohol problem at the time but had now been through detox and had not had a drink since the collision, he added.
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