Suspended jail sentence for motorist

A GILTBROOK motorist was spared jail for ploughing his car into a house in Codnor.

But Matthew Holland, 24, was banned from driving for two years and will have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

A suspended sentence of 18 months also hangs over the man of Robina Drive after he appeared in court.

He had previously pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and failing to provide a breath test, Derby Crown Court heard.

Recorder Andrew Eastall said it was only through ‘good fortune’ that no-one was killed when Holland drove his Audi through two boundary hedges and a garden before hitting Glenn and Debbie Fletcher’s 120-year-old home after a night out drinking on January 8.

Sentencing Holland, Mr Eastall said: “You are 24 and you have never been in any trouble before.”

“What a way to start getting into trouble.

“On January 8 you were driving your Audi like an idiot.

“You completely failed to brake as you approached the right hand bend. You had already had to brake hard once to avoid a collision. You were drunk and this didn’t serve as any warning.

“It is only by good fortune that you did not kill yourself or anyone else.

“As if that wasn’t bad enough or dumb enough, you then ran away from the scene.”

He said his motivating factor in sparing Holland an immediate jail term was the defendant’s ‘good character’.

Defending Holland, Kevin Waddingham said his client was ashamed of his actions. He said he had a good family, a long-term girlfriend and had made a ‘positive contribution to the community’. The events of January 8 he added, were ‘totally out of character’.

Holland was also ordered to pay £235 prosecution costs and will have to retake his driving test after two years if he wants to drive again.

In sparing Holland a jail term, recorder Eastall told the defendant: “I’m giving you a chance here and betting on the fact that you won’t ever trouble these courts again.”