Overdose Driver was Lucky to Escape Prison Sentence — (South Wales Evening Post)

Original article no longer available

South Wales Evening Post

ANTHONY O’CONNELL

A suicidal Llangennech motorist, who drove around his village after taking more than 30 anti-depressant tablets, has escaped jail for dangerous driving.

Instead, Llanelli magistrates made Derek John Stannard, of Maes Road, the subject of a 12-month probation order. The 41-year-old was banned from driving for two years and must take an extended driving test before being allowed back on the road.

Chair of the magistrates Jackie Kendrick told Stannard: “You could have gone to prison for this.”

The court heard how, at 2.30am on Sunday, January 30, last year, a taxi driver was dropping off in Llangennech when Stannard drove past erratically. The cabbie followed the Nissan Primera, seeing it crash into parked cars and smash into a central reservation barrier.

Stannard’s journey took him through the village’s Maes Road, Station Road, Bridge Street and Hendre Road.

When police caught up with him and took him to hospital, it was found he had overdosed on the tablets.

Magistrates were told that Stannard’s ex-wife was moving away and he was trying to kill himself.

Stannard, who held a clean driving licence before the incident, admitted dangerous driving on January 27.

The case was adjourned until last Wednesday for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.