Drug driver jailed after couple seriously injured in West Dorset

Drug driver jailed after couple seriously injured in West Dorset

Published by George Sharpe at 5:25pm 14th July 2020. (Updated at 7:57am 15th July 2020)

A drug driver has been jailed after he was found guilty of causing a serious injury collision in West Dorset.

30-year-old Sam Laurence Harman of Sussex Road, Weymouth, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday  (14 July) after being found guilty at an earlier trial of two offences of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He had previously admitted offences of drug driving and driving without valid insurance.

Harman was sentenced to a total of three years in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years, with the ban due to begin when he is released from jail.

police car

At around 8.20 am on Sunday 17 December 2017 Harman was driving a BMW 320 eastbound along the A35 at Morecombelake when his vehicle was seen to drift across the solid white line markings in the centre of the road. It was subsequently involved in a collision with an oncoming vehicle, a Citroen C3. The Citroen also then collided with a Vauxhall Astra that had been travelling behind it.

The couple who were in the Citroen, a woman aged in her 70s and man aged in his 80s from Bridport, were both taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Harman sustained minor injuries in the collision and the driver of the Vauxhall was uninjured.

'Drugs test'

A blood sample taken from the defendant at the hospital revealed the presence of Benzoylecgonine – a metabolite of cocaine – at a level of 78 micrograms per litre. The legal limit is 50 micrograms per litre.

'Injuries'

The injured woman spent four months in hospital following the collision and has long-term mobility issues as a result.

Her husband suffered several broken ribs and a fracture to his sternum that required long-term treatment.

Sergeant Fern Graham, of the traffic unit, said:

“As a result of Sam Harman’s driving, two people were left with serious injuries that have had a lasting impact on them.

“This case is yet another reminder of the dangers of getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of drugs and we are committed to making sure those who put others at risk by doing so are identified and brought before the courts.”