Drunk man crashed car into wall at high speed during argument with girlfriend

Paul Hague

Paul Hague

A drunk danger-driver has been banned after smashing his car into a wall at high speed while arguing with his terrified girlfriend.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Paul Hague, 30, was three times the drink-drive limit when he started rowing with his then partner, who was pleading with him to slow down and worrying she was about to die.

Newcastle Crown Court

Newcastle Crown Court

Hague, an engineer of Springbank, Hebburn, had been caught drink driving just days earlier, refused his fearful girlfriend’s pleas to be let out of the Vauxhall Zafira.

After she told him their relationship was over, the court heard he said “******* watch” then smashed into a concrete underpass at a roundabout as she screamed for him to stop.

The woman blacked out on impact and came round in the smoking car in a lot of pain but escaped with severe bruising, a sore lip and burns from the air bag activating.

In a victim statement the woman said: “I was so scared in the car and honestly thought I was going to die. I knew we were going too fast and his driving was far too dangerous.

“He didn’t slow down no matter how much I screamed at him. I’m grateful I didn’t suffer more serious injuries.”

The court heard the then-couple had been out drinking in Simonside, South Shields, on November 3 last year and, some time after midnight, they set off to a friend’s home in Washington.

Paul Rowland, prosecuting, said: “It seems an argument had developed between them and went on for up to an hour. That concluded with her asking the defendant to take her home to Jarrow.

“This argument had caused some upset as far as the defendant was concerned and the defendant began driving erratically. He kept putting his foot down and speeding up and was going faster than the speed limits.

“She was fearful at that time and thought he may cause an accident and kept asking him to slow down and asked him to stop to let her out.

“However the defendant continued driving and she says she told him the relationship was over and she didn’t want to be with him anymore.

He said the car was approaching a roundabout at the junction of the A195 and A1231, in the Hertburn area of Washington heading towards Jarrow, when Hague snapped.

Mr Rowland said: “As she tried to calm him down she felt the car accelerate and he lost control.

“She thought he was going to crash and braced herself and the vehicle, which was his father’s vehicle, hit the concrete of the under side of an underpass. She doesn’t know what speed he was doing when it hit but before the roundabout he was doing 80mph.

Hague was arrested at the scene and accepted responsibility for the crash.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was given 12 months suspended for two years with a three month curfew between 7pm and 6am and was banned from driving for two years.

The court heard he was on bail at the time after being caught drink driving on October 18. He has admitted that offence and is due to be sentence by magistrates next week.

Judge Deborah Sherwin told him: “The aggravating feature is at the time you were on bail because you had been arrested for being over the limit a week or two before this.

“It’s very concerning you drove while drunk twice in quick succession.

“I’m just persuaded this is a sentence I can suspend.”

Christopher Knox, defending, said: “He accepts he drove badly and that his behaviour was wholly unacceptable.

“He is an electrical engineer and usually works seven days a week. He is a respectable young man. The injuries were not as serious as they might have been and the accident did not involve any other vehicle. "