10th Apr, 2021

Suspended jail term for driving car straight through Solihull home

A MAN who smashed a car through the bay window of a Solihull home, throwing the owners off a sofa has escaped jail.

Although badly shaken, they were uninjured by the ordeal when Noel O’Donnell, of South Roundhay, Stechford, drove straight across a T-junction, into the back of a parked car on their Seven Star Road drive on October 28.

O’Donnell had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to provide a sample of blood for a drug test.

The 21-year-old was jailed for eight months, suspended for 12 months with a rehabilitation activity, banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £340 costs.

No order for compensation was made as O’Donnell, who had no previous convictions, was insured, and his insurance company was paying for the damage.

The couple were watching television at 7.50pm when they saw a Ford Fiesta doing about 60mph along the 40mph road.

Prosecutor Geoffrey Dann said they feared the car would not make the left-hand bend as it headed towards the junction with Warwick Road.

Although it did make the corner at the T-junction it shot across Warwick Road, up the drive of the house opposite and smashed into the back of the owners’ two cars, a Vauxhall Astra and a Jaguar.

Shaken, they went outside where O’Donnell and his passenger were still in the Fiesta, and were told they would pay for the damage, estimated at £38,000, and asked them not to call the police.

When arrested O’Donnell was given a breath test which was below the legal alcohol limit, but refused to give a specimen of blood to be tested for cannabis.

William Douglas-Jones, defending, said: “The offence was out of character. It was a loss of control due to excessive speed. He recognises the reckless nature of his conduct.”

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