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Stupid Case File for July 3, 2007

Near-death passenger handed ban for prank

Special thanks to Sue & David from across the big pond for this story!
Courtesy of Cambridge Evening News

A YOUNG woman crippled in a fatal smash has appeared in court after being caught driving while a teenager clung to the bonnet.

Jessica Green knew all too well the consequences of dangerous driving, having suffered terrible injuries in a crash which killed two teenagers.

Seven years on from the tragedy, Green still needs crutches to walk and hobbled into Ely Magistrates' Court to face charges of reckless driving and speeding.

The court heard how the 20-year-old was spotted on CCTV doing laps of Ely Market Square with a teenager holding on to the bonnet.

Cheered on by a large group of youngsters, she eventually stopped to let her passenger off but another took their place - this time while carrying a football. As she carried on circling the square, one of the rear doors of her Vauxhall Astra hung wide open.

The lunacy was watched by a night time CCTV operator in Cambridge's Guildhall who alerted police, commenting how it was only luck that nobody had been seriously injured.

Green, of West Drive, Soham, said: "I have no excuse for it. It was reckless driving. That's about it. But I need my car because I'm disabled, and I have no other way of getting around. I live on the outskirts of Soham, and I'm a mile-and-a-half away from town. I need my car for shopping and socialising."

She pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and a separate speeding offence.

Dr Christine Shaw, chairman of the magistrates' bench, said: "We take a very dim view of this example of driving, and we are not happy to deal with it just by points. We think you need waking up. This was an outrageous display of reckless driving. Your friends were stupid to get on the bonnet, and you were stupid to drive with them on it."

Green, who doesn't work, wept as the verdict was given. She was disqualified from driving until she re-takes her test. She was fined £80 with £50 costs for the Ely incident, which happened on October 30, 2006, and handed three penalty points and a £60 fine for speeding. She was caught driving at 40mph in the 30mph restricted Elizabeth Way in Cambridge earlier the same month.

In October 2000, Green, who was 14 at the time, was among four female passengers in a Ford Escort which smashed head-on into a BMW near the Fenland village of Stuntney.

Seventeen-year-old Lisa Farrell and her friend Sarah Harrison, 14, were killed. The fourth passenger, 15-year-old Jenna Norwood, survived only to be killed in another crash almost a year later.

Arthur Loveridge, formerly of Wentworth Caravan Site, who was behind the wheel, received a three-year jail term for causing death by dangerous driving. He was 17 at the time of the accident.


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